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Compaq has a peculiar proposition for you. 
They want you to pay up to $12,500 more for 
a server that's similarly configured to Dell's. 

That's bad enough in normal times, but 
with the tight budgets these days it's ridiculous. 

The Ne w Del I Drive An«y giv es petformance 
a boost. With Dell Drive Array, we've overcome 
the two big problems that plague most servers: 
Slow disk subsystem performance, and the 
difficulty of ensuring data integrity. 
Let's tackle slow performance first: 
The Dell Drive Array is based on the Intel® 
80960 RISC processor. And, depending on the 
application, can deliver twice the storage I/O 
performance of a stand-alone ESDI drive. 
Allowing more users to access the server more 

quickly for 




IN CANADACALL 800-387-5752 

greater pro- 



As for ensuring data integrity, the Dell Drive 
Array uses parity checking techniques. So a single disk can 
guard all the data on up to 4 other disks. 

What's more, the Dell Drive Array uses a standard high 
performance SCSI software interface. Instead of Compaq's 
proprietary interface. So you get high performance using 
industry standard device drivers, in just about every 
operating environment. 

LEASE': $572/MONTH** 

THE DELL* 433TE, 33 MHz i486'" SERVER 




• i486 microprocessor running at 33 MHz 
(433TE) or 25 MHz (425TE) with 8 KB 
internal cache. 

• 128 KB external cache (433TE). 

• Standard 4 MB of RAMf expandable to 

• 11 internal half-height drive bays. 

• Eight 32-bit EISA expansion slots (six EISA 
niaster slots and two EISA slave slots). 

• High-performance IDE (80 MB, 100 MB, 
190 MB and 330 MB) ESDI or SCSI 

t MB (eight internal SIMM sockets, each (330 MB, 650 MB) hard disk drives. 

SmartVu™ —Advanced Systems Diagnostic 

accepting a 1 MB, 2 MB, 4 MB or 8 MB 
SIMM, installable in matched pairs). 

. Socket for WEITEK 4167 math coprocessor. . i2.n,onth On-Site Service Contract. 

VGA Color Plus System with Amiy of 5 200 MB hard drives 

433TE, 8 MB RAM* 33 MHz 
425TE, 8 MB RAM* 25 MHz 





ONLY §9,649 

Lease $384/mon(h** 

• i486 microprocessor mnning at 33 MHz 
with 128 KB external cache. 
330 MB VGA $9,649 

Monochrome System 
Price listed includes 4 MB of RAM.* 80, 
100, 190 and 650 MB hard drive config- 
urations also available. 
25 MHz systems also available starting 
at $6,649. 


ONLY $8,199 

Lease $29fi/mim(h*' 
• i486 microprocessor mnning at 33 MHz. 
190 MB Super Vm $8,199 

Color System (800 x 600) 
Price listed includes 4 MB of RAM.* 
80, 100, 330 and 650 MB hard drive 
contiguratioru also available. 
25 MHz systems also available statting 
at $5,749. 


ONLY $4,999 

Lease $181/month** 
• i486 microprocessor running at 33 MHz. 
100 MB VGA Color Plus System $4 , 999 
Price listed iticludes 2 MB of RAM* 190 
and 320 MB hard drive configurations 
also available. 



ONLY $4,199 

Lease $I52/month** 

• Intel® 80386 microprocessor 
mnning at 33 MHz with 64 KB 
external cache. 
100 MB SuperVGA Color 

Plus System (800 x 600) 
Price listed includes 4 MB of RAM.* 
40, 80, 190, 330 and 650 MB hard drive 
confrguratioirs also available. 
25 MHz systems also available sterling 
at $2,749. 


ONLY $2,599 

Lease $97/mim»h** 
• Intel 80386 microprocessor mnning at 
25 MHz. 

40MBVQAColorPlusSv!tem $2,599 
Price listed includes 2 MB of RAM.* 
80, 100, 190 and 320 MB hard drive 
configurations also arailable. 
33 MHz systems also available statting 
at $2,649. 



ONLY $2,599 

lease Wlmmth" 
: • Intel 80386SX microprocessor mnning at 
20 MHz. 

i 40MBVaAColorPlusSystem $2,599 
j Price listed includes 2 MB of RAM.* 
\ 80, 100, 190, 330 and 650 MB hatd drive 
i configurations also available. 



ONLY $2,099 

Lease $79/nionth** 

I « Intel 80386SX microprocessor 
running at 16 MHz. 
40 MB VGA Color Plus System 

Price listed includes 2 MB of 
RAM * 20, 80, 100 and 190 MB hard drive 
configurations also arailable. 



ONLY $2,899 

Lease $79/mOTth** 
=^ • Intel 80386SX microprocessor 
mnning at 16 MHz. 
20MB,1MBRAM* $2,899 
40 and 120 MB hard drive 
configurations also available. 
20 MHz systems also available srarting 
at $3,499. 


ONLY $3,399 

• Intel 80386SX microprocessor mr 
20 MHz. 
60 MB configurations also availab! 
the Dell 212N 12 MHz 286 also a- 
srarting at $2,399. 



ONLY $1,499 

Lease $56lmonth** 


20 MB VGA Monochrome System $1,499 
Price listed Includes 1 MB of RAM.* 
40, 80 and 100 MB hard drive config- 
urations also available. 

13 E L L- 


If we've said it once, we've said it ten times. You can get a 
custom-configured Dell® computer with better service for up to 
$12,500 less than a similarly configured Compaq system.' 
Everything from the award-winning 386SX laptop PCs to 
workgroup-sized i486 network servers. With 
a virtually limitless number of choices of 
monitors, hard drives, RAM sizes and 

But if you're still not convinced, go to a 
Compaq dealer and compare what's there 
with what's here. 

You make the call, then we make the computer. 
And because we actually manufacture the desktop computers 
we sell, each one is custom configured to your exact specifications 
when you order. 

With Dell service, 
that desigited 

Then we run a configured systems check, and ship it to you 
via two-day air standard. With a 30-day money back guarantee 
and a one-year limited warranty. 
SM|>J>ort that wins awards, and your confidence. 

The Dell service and support package 
has won 8 PC Week Corporate Satisfaction 
ly Polls for PCs, laptops and servers an 

m A mP] unprecedented 8 times. Maybe because the 
! company that supports Dell computers is 

the same one that designs Dell computers. 
Which means you get a technical support 
staff that can solve 90% of all problems over the phone. Usually 
in 6 minutes or less. You also get an electronic bulletin board that 
lets you see other users' questions about Dell systems. And more 
importantly, Dell's answers. 

you get the company 
(lie computer. 

You even have anytime, any day access to Dell's innovative 
automated toll-free, 24-hourTechFax line. Just dial-up, and get 
detailed information from Dell technical library faxed back to 
you. On the sopt. 

And if your problem can't be solved over the phone, a trained 
service technician will come to you with a solution. Usually by 
the next business day.'^ 

And best of all, you don't have to worry about budgeting for all 
of this. Because the system price includes on-site service for a 
year, and phone support forever 

But you don't need to worry too much about that. Those 
Customer Satisfaction Polls consistently rank Dell tops in 
reliability as well. 

The right hardware /or hard times. 

A down economy is not the time for Compaq dealer mark-ups. 

Which makes Dell computers look even better these days. And, 
to loosen those tight budgets even more, you can take advantage 
of a wide variety of credit, lease and lease-to-buy programs. 

For instance, you can lease* Dell computers for as little as 
$56 a month. Or use the lease-to-buy plans and own the computer 
at the end of the lease term.There's even a Dell Direct Advantage 
MasterCard with up to a $15,000 credit limit and a way to earn 
points toward Dell products with everything you buy Either way 
you'll get all the credit you deserve. So if you were planning to 
buy a Compaq PC, take a deep breath, count to ten and call Dell. 







IN CANADA CALL 800-387-5752 

TheDellSyslem433TEand425TEareclassAdevices sold forusoincc,.nrercial environments cnl,.Performo„ceE„ho„ceme„is:V.,M„,hefirsime,aby,eo.memo^,l^ 








Maintaining servers can be beyond most Compaq 
dealers. If a server goes down, your whole company can go down. 

With a Compaq system, you may have to trust the dealer 
who sold it to you to fix it. With Dell, you deal directly with 
us, the company that designs and manufactures your servers. 

Which means you'll be working with a telephone support 
staff that can solve 90% of all problems over the phone . Generally 
in 6 minutes or less. 

And because Dell is an AT&T UNIX® 
source code licensee and validates compati- 
bility under Novell and Banyan, you can be 
sure your Dell technician knows quite a bit 
about networking too. 

But on those rare occasions we can't solve 
it over the phone, a trained service technician 
will be sent to your office with a solution in 
hand. Usually by the next business day.^ 

Dell has even pioneered a new 24 -hour, 
toll-free TechFax line which automatically 
faxes you detailed information about your 
Dell System from the Dell technical library. 

And all this coverage, including a full year 
of on-site service comes at no additional cost 
to you. Pretty good for a service and support 
package that won the PC W&ek Corporate 
Satisfaction Pall an unprecedented 8 times. 

Tfieie's a lot more to know if hen you buy 
a seiner. From the first moment you call Dell, 
and for as long as you own your system, we'll work with you 
and answer any questions— from service and technical issues 
to the wide variety of credit, lease or lease-to-buy plans available.* 
If you've got the money, Compaq's machine will do just fine. 
But if you're looking for a server that will soup-up your network 
without blowing your budget, call Dell. 

Unless, of course, you like being 
overcharged and underserviced. 




Circle 93 on Inquiry Card. 

There's An 
Double Your 

Intaoduciiig The ALR POWERPRO 


With the PqWERPRO's advanced modular 
system architecture, the choices you make 
today won t limit your options tommorrow. 


Strapping two traditional PCs 
together won't give you the 
dual processing power you 
need to keep pace with today's 
growing networks and multi- 
user environments, but the 
new ALR®POWERPRO will. It's 
the affordable, high-perform- 
ance alternative to the 

Whether you need a system for 
single or multiple users, 
CAD/CAM, office automation, 
manufacturing manage- 
ment systems, shared 
databases or a host of 
other applications, 
there's a POWERPRO 
that delivers. Choose be- 
tween one or two 33-MHZ 
i486 processors and up 
to 1-MB of cache for per- 
formance ranging from 14.7 to 
40 VAXTM MIPS. Single CPU 
models can be quickly and 
easily upgraded to dual 

Additionally, all models will be 
able to accommodate 
future, faster, 
processors. i 
With 49-MPs of I 
possible RAM, 
I twelve expan- 
sion slots, and 
tions for up to 
■ . 2.5-GBof 
internal stor- 
age (up to 10-GB of total 
storage utilizing an 
external ALR 
expansion , ^ 

chassis), the 
the expandability 
needed to keep 
pace with your 
future needs. The 
incorporates a 
32-bit EISA bus, 
so you'll have 
maximum com- 
ity with 

ment products 
while enjojdng 
the affordabil- 
ity of today's 
low-cost "AT" compat- 
ible hardware. 
The POWERPRO uses . 
ALR's proprietary 

Just Upgrade the CPUF'^ 



Easier Way To 
Processing Power. 

Single or Dual Processing 'Mj^^ea 
Performance with Prices Starting 
at $7495 

PROCACHE scalable cache 
memory architecture. This 

mainframe-like read-and- 
I write-back design is 
more efficient than 
the standard write- 
through architec- 
ture found on the 

ALR ALR Compaq 



if of Processors 
Max. # of Processors 
Bus Architecture 
t^emory Cache 

VM 64 

Single 33-MHz i486 

32-bit EiSA 


Singie 33-MHz i486 

32-bit EiSA 


!1 4,495 

Singie 33-MHz i486 

32-bit EiSA 



240-MB <1 9ms 


More importantly, 
this scalable archi- 
tecture allows you 
to equip the 
POWERPRO with up 
to 1-MB of cache. 


Yet the POWERPRO's 
performance edge 
doesn't stop there. 
Selected models use 
ALR's SCSI SDA (Soft- 
ware Disk Array) to 
provide the capabilities 
of hardware disk arrays 
— including disk strip- 

ing, spanning and mirroring — 
with greater flexibility and 
higher performance. ALR's 
SDA protects your data while 
helping to eliminate hard disk 
The SYSTEMPRO-compatible 
ALR POWERPRO runs off the 
shelf dual-processing versions 
as well as Banyan® Vines™ 
SMP. And it's positioned for 
use with future dual process- 
ing versions of Novell® 
NetWare™, OS/ 2™ and LAN 
Manager 2.0™. 

Only ALR can deliver a dual- 
processing system that's more 
powerful than the COMPAQ 
SYSTEMPRO for a price that's 
up to 30% less. 

For more information call ALR 


"'^^ — Advanced Logic Research, Inc. 

9401 Jeronlmo Irvine, CA 92718 
(714) 581-6770 FAX: (714) 581-9240 

Available at these selected 

ALR Power Partner 

ConnecfmgPomf Ma 09 ^^OSC 


gT ., jWP Infomalion Systems 

Prices based on U.S. Dollars. co=r.p=«, sj,..^, c^p 

Prices and configuralJons subject to change without notice - please verify competitive 
prices with manulactufer. System shown with optional monitor. ALR is a reglsleied 
trademark of Attvanced Logic Research, Inc. All other brand and product names are 
trademarks or regislered trademarks of their respective ovmers, © 1990 by 
Advanced Logic Research, Inc. 


May 1991 Volume 1 6, Number 5 


A PC and 1-2-3 
in the Palm 
of Your Hand 

PAGE 44 


Adobe's new font technology will 
give users more control over text. 


Apple Introduces Low-Cost 
Laser Quality with Style 

A new dual 
^ low end for 
Apple printers. 

Z-486/25E, the i486 
and TIGA video make a 
powerful personal workstation 

ObjectVision, an object-oriented 
approach makes forms cook 

MT735 and LT-20, the highs 
and lows of printing 
on the road 

Inflni-D, a three-dimensional 
world for the Mac 


Aldus FreeHand 3.0, ^ 

a new-generation / - ' 
Mac drawing . „ . V 


DOS and Unix together, 
a transputer in a kit, finite 
element analysis for engineers, 
and more. 

126 Future Documents 

Combine Windows text, graphics, voice, and more. 

137 Desktop Prototyping 

New technologies make CAD drawings into solid models— from PCs! 

145 Data Acquisition: PCs on the Bench 

Data acquisition on powerful personal computers and workstations. 



153 The Data Swamp 

Together, hardware and software 
developments are making it easier 
to handle massive amounts of data. 

157 Browsing Through Terabytes 

Wide-area information servers can 
distill vast archives of data. 

169 Prioritizing Information 

Grace Hopper speaks out on the 
value of data and various criteria 
you can use to help determine that value. 

177 Through a Lens Smartly 

Information Lens can simplify electronic communications. 

191 From Pyramids to Peers 

Data management applications strengthen the integrity of network data. 

201 Giga-Storage 

A variety of storage technologies exist, and conflicting 
considerations are involved in choosing among them. 

213 Resource Guide: Massive Mass Storage 

Jukebox manufacturers serve up gigabytes of storage. 

4 BYTE* MAY 1991 








486 EISA: Born to Blaze 

These 33-MHz 486 EISA systems are the fastest machines we've seen. 

X Terminals for Workstation Power at PC Prices 

Seamless Unix and X Window networking. 

"Smart" UPSes 
Alert LANs to Power 

New LAN-based UPSes 
prevent damage. 

QEMM-386 and 
386Max Square Off 
Under Windows 

Contenders for the 
extended memory of 
Windows users. 


When Less Is More: Making 
Mac Images More Manageable 

Storm Technology debuts an effective 
image-compression duo. 

High-Quality Image Editing 
Develops on the PC 

Image-editing software turns PCs into electronic darkrooms. 

The MuItiScope Debuggers Make Debugging Easier 

The MuItiScope Debuggers for DOS provide GUI power. 

Extend Your Printer's Reach Without a LAN 

A trio of printer sharers that maximize your investment. 

Color Printing, Diconix Style: Vibrant but Slow 

Kodak's new ink-jet printer graces business documents. 


Create documents that your workstation application doesn't provide. 


All about packet drivers. 


Networkwide interprocess 


External floppy disk drives, 
phones, and computing 
for the handicapped. 

318 THE UNIX /bin 
Stars of the Show 

by David Fiedler 
A visit to UniForum. 


The AIX Alternative 

by Barry Nance 
Choosing a Unix-based 


Windows Tips and Tricks 

by Mark J. Minasi 
Answers to some frequently 
asked Windows 3.0 questions. 


Professional 3-D Graphics 
on the Mac 

by Don Crabb 

Don finds a graphics oasis. 

Atari Revisited 

by Jerry Poumelle 

Jerry looks at the Atari TT030. 

The Missing Link 

by Wayne Rash Jr. 
Heterogeneous LANs can 
coimnunicate despite a shortage 
of solutions from major 
platform vendors. 


Is It Time to Telecommute? 
igipg Will telecommuting save 
the world and our jobs? 

Up from Rosie 

Professor Kenner 
examines a new book 
of essays about fractals 
and chaos. 


Human Filters? 

Beyond managing 
megabytes, to 
avoiding infolock. 


CeBIT '91 


Further musings on power, 
processors, and Jerry Poumelle. 


374 Editorial Index by Company 
376 Alphabetical Index to Advertisers 
378 Index to Advertisers 
by Product Category 
Inquiry Reply Cards: after 380 


From BIX: Call (800) 227-2983 
From Demolink: See ad on page 343 
On disk: See card after 364 

BVTE (ISSN 0360.5280/91) is published monlhly with an addillonal Issue in Oclober by McGraw-Hill, Inc. U.S. subscnber rale $29.95 per year. In 
Canada and Mexico, $34.95 per year. Single copies $3.50 in Ihe U.S.. $4.50 in Canada. Executive, Editorial, Circulation, and Advertising Offices: 

One Phoenix Mill Une, Peterborough. NH 03458. Second-class postage paid at Peterborough, NH, and additional mailina offices. Postage paid REGIONAL SECTION 

at Winnipeg, Manitoba. Registration number 9321. Printed in the United States of America. Poatmaater: Send address changes, USPS Form i. ■ i-i at 

3579, and fulfillment questions to BYTE Subscriptions. P.O. Box 551, Hlghtslov<n.NJ 08520. DCginS alter pSgC y2 


MAY 1991 • BYTE S 


BYTE Topic Index and Author 6uide 

This Index helps you find articles that contain Information on each of the listed topics. (The topic list changes each month.) 
Combined with the table of contents (page 4) and the Editorial Index by Company (page 3 74), you can Identify articles by type, 

subject, title, author, or product discussed. 

68, 111,201,249 

68, 93, 111, 137, 201, 249, 2S7, 271, 
318, 324, 328 

10, 68, 93, 2S7 

S4, 68,216, 238, 271,318 

S4, 68, 14S, 1S3,216, 2S7 

68, 93, 121, 1S3, 1S7, 177, 249, 292, 

S6, 68, 93, 111, 126, 187, 201, 318 

18, 68, 93, 111, 126, 216, 2S7, 324, 

62, 68, 126, 137, 191, 216, 277, 292, 

10, 44, S6, 68, 93, 121, 1S7, 216 

48, 62, 68, 93, 111, 238, 263 

^^^^^^ ^^^^^ 
68, 2S7, 328 

84, 68, 93, 111, 121, 126, 1S3, 157, 177, 
191, 216, 238, 249, 309, 324, 
334, 388 

S6, 58, 126 

68, 324, 328 

48, 56, 68, 93, 121, 126, 277, 287, 

18,216, 292 
56, 68, 126, 153,318 

54, 93, 216, 238 

54, 266 

68, 111, 137, 216, 238, 292, 318, 324 

18, 68, 126, 177, 238, 257, 318, 328 

Alford, Roger C. 277 
Andrews, David 44, 54, 68 
Apiki, Steve 216 
Baran, Nicholas 145 

Barl<er, D. 29 
Barron, Janet J. 169 

Cool<, Rick 29 
Crabb, Don 121, 334 
Diehl, Stanford 216 
Fledier, David 318 
Fisher, Sharon 297 
Giass, Brett 257 
Grehan, Rick 249 
Heiier, IVlartin 126 
Hopper, Grace 169 

Joch, Aian 287 
Kearns, Steven 271 
Kenner, Hugh 386 
Langa, Fred 10, 121 
Lent, Anne Fischer 54 
Linderholm, Owen 29, 48, 121 
Loeb, Larry 29, 121 
Loveria, Greg 266 
Maiiett, iVIark 309 
Maiioy, Rich 54 
Miastkowski, Stan 54, 121 
Minasi, MarkJ. 328 
Nance, Barry 324 
Peters, Richard A. 201 
Pourneile, Jerry 93,121 
Rash, Wayne Jr. 111,121 
Reinhardt, Andrew 29, 44 
Robinson, IVIike 177 
Ronnkey, John 297 
Ryan, Bob 153, 213 
Sheldon, Ken 121,388 
Snnith, Ben 121 
Stein, Richard Marlon 157 

Swartz, Carol 68 
Tazelaar, Jane Morrill 150 
Thompson, Tom 54, 121 
Toperczer, Tom 191 
Ullman, Ellen 29 
Udell, Jon 121 
Vaughan-Nlchols, Steven J. 263 
Wayner, Peter 121 
Wilcox, Grant 205 
Wood, Lament 137 
Yager, Tom 238, 292 

126, 153, 328 

238, 292 

6 BYTE • MAY 1991 

The Right Decision 



HS®^?- , „,„ „„.„ , 

-Star Computer continues to 
outdistance tlie pacl< as America's 
preferred supplier of liigh-end 486 
Worl<sta lions. Read tlie reviews and 
you will understand why Tri-Star is 
the undisputed 486 champ. 

"Tri-Star is Idng of the 33MHz 486 

Mountain." PC WEEK 

Analyst's Choice, February 18,1991 

"Tri-Star's 486/25 rates honorable mention 
for its thoughtful design touches, two year 
warranty and excellent service program. " 
PC Magazine 

Editor's Choice Honorable Mention, 
September 11, 1990 

"Tri-Star's edge is its good documentation 
and excellent service policy. " PC Sources 
486/33 Lead Review, February 1991 

Flash Cache 486 

Features Include: 
Intel 80486 Processor 
8MB RAM (Expandable to 64MB On Board) 
64K High Speed Static RAM Cache 
210MB 15ms Hard Disk Drive 
1.2MB S.2S-inch Floppy Drive 
1 .44MB 3.5-incli Floppy Drive 
1 024 X 768 SVGA Adapter w/1 MB RAM 
1 4" Non-interlaced SVGA Color Display 
Microsoft DOS 4.01 & Windows 3.0 
High Res 400 DPI Three Button Mouse 
Quality 101 -Key Tactile Keyboard 
Two Serial Ports and 1 Parallel Port 
Fully DOS, UNIX & Novell Compatible 
Circle 321 on Inquiry Card. 






16" Color Display $695 
20" Color Display $1695 

flash Cache 33MHz 386 as above with 
4MB RAM a 125MB Hard Drive 
—Only 12695 

All Flash Cache Computer 
Systems Include: 

♦ 2 Year Parts & Labor Warranty 
♦ 60 Day Money Back Guarantee • 1 2 Month 
On-Site Service ♦ Overnight Parts Replacement 
♦ Lifetime Toil-Free Technical Support 

■■> • ■ ■> !,t I ,.'v.' * 1/.. i<»)>^*"i '■■iiiV'jis^s ■ 11.J.' 

*" ' ' ^ -U^ s . * 7V ".^i . , I ^1.^ . <!L.,ix ■! I .r. 

-I."-)M..,i' 'I,..!,- >^ir.v ft-L.' 1 l-lbJ"! 'I. .Vi-T ■ I lH{' .-OiJ -I 



707 West Geneva, Tempo, Ari7ona 85282 

Tech Support 1 .800.688TECH 
Telephone 602.829-0584 
Fax 602.345-01 10 
Monday - Friday 7:00dm-/:00pm MST 
Saturday '3:00am-4:O0prn MST 


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L #4 - -^-r j-f 

viromnent for 

The Microsoff 
Windows™ graphical 
environment version 
3.0 makes it easy for 
you to do a lot more 
with your PC. That's 
because the Windows environment 
has friendly icons, menus and dia- 
log boxes that make its powerful 
features very accessible. 

Windows lets you work with 
a variety of applications on-screen 
at the same time. Including your 
character-based programs. 

But it's when you start using 
Windows applications that you get 
the most out of your PC. Windows 
applications are easy. In addition 
they all work essentially the same 
way. So once you learn how to use 
one, you generally know how to 
use them all. 

And they're so intuitive that 
experimenting with them is fun. 
Windows applications let you 

cut and paste text and graphics. 
And let you combine them right 
on your screen. They also let you 
print out exactly v^at you see. 

Yon can even establish links 
between Windows applications. 
Which means, if you change any 
numbers in Microsoft Excel for 
Windows, the chart you cut and 
pasted into your Microsoft Word 
for Windows document will be 
automatically updated. 

So call us at (800)541-1261, 
Department P31, to find out more 
about Windows, Windows applica- 
tbns or the big Windows World Con- 
vention and Exposition coming up 
May 20th and 23rd in Atlanta. 

Because with Windows, you 
can start taking the work you do 
every day a little easier. 

And have more to show for it. 


Making it all make sense™ 

S'.^TJf"^^'^"- ^fS ^^-^^^^f- P31. InCamda call (416) 568-3503. Otttside Ike U.S. and Canada, call (206) 936-8661 © 1991 
Making it all make sense and Windoits are tradettiariis of Microsoft Corporation ^oo-oooi. j^yj 

Microsoft Corporation. All r^hls resented. Microsoft and the Microsoft logo are registered trademarks a 



CeBIT '91 

The world's largest 
computer trade show 
causes ''the agony 
of the feet" 

eBIT at Germany's Hannover Fair is liuge, eas- 
ily the world's largest computer trade show. 
When CeBIT opened in mid-March, the orga- 
nizers expected 580,000 attendees. However, 
war jitters reduced the count to a "mere" 
400,000, about four times the size of Fall Comdex, 
North America's largest computer exhibition. The Fair 
is virtually a city unto itself: large enough to have its 
own rail stops, heliport, post 
office, pharmacy, florist, res- 
taurants, police station. . . . 

The Fair's logo is the head 
of Mercury (god of communi- 
cation), with his mouth wide 
open. I assume the designers 
meant him to look as if he was 
heralding news, but after days 
of pounding CeBIT's endless aisles, BYTE staffers de- 
cided he was screaming because his feet hurt. 

Here's a quick summary of some of the most interest- 
ing items we saw. 

Kyocera's Refalo 

Kyocera has been a behind-the-scenes player in porta- 
ble computing ever since it built the Model 100 for 
Tandy. Now, Kyocera is rolling out a complete line of 
PCs under its own nameplate, including a fascinating 
pen-based notebook computer. 

Refalo is an ultraminiaturized PC compatible run- 
ning DOS 3.2 at 9.5 MHz: The circuitry is built into the 
covers of a very compact loose-leaf six-ring binder. 
You can use Refalo as either an electronic notebook or 
as a traditional paper-based notebook. 

When you open Refalo, the inside left cover contains 
a 240- by 320-pixel screen, which is both an input and 
output device. You can write on the screen, storing your 
notes either as bit maps or as standard ASCII characters 
processed via built-in character-recognition software. 

The character-recognition software works best on 
numeric data— phone numbers and the like. Text entry 
is possible, but it's faster and more reliable to tap it in 
via a membrane keypad on an electronic "leaf" : a rigid 
touchpad tablet. The leaf is six-hole punched, and it's 
about as thick as 15 sheets of paper; it clips into the 
loose-leaf binder rings. The leaf communicates with 
the CPU using electromagnetic inductance through the 
metal binder rings— there are no wires. 

The notebook can operate for up to 4 hours on either 
a built-in rechargeable battery or three ordinary, re- 

placeable AAA dry cells. 

Refalo comes with the standard megabyte of PC 
RAM, although the suite of always-available, built-in 
programs (e.g., schedule, memo, phone list, and tele- 
communications) eats up some user memory. The off- 
the-shelf configuration leaves you about 256K bytes to 
run standard DOS programs, which can be loaded 
through the serial port or, more conveniently, through 
two JEIDA-standard IC cards. You can also use the IC 
card slots to boost memory up to an amazing 16 MB. 
(EMS 4.0 support is built in.) 

Refalo has been selling for several months in Japan. 
It will be sold this summer in Europe, and although 
plans for sales in the U.S. are not yet firm, Kyocera is 
working on it. Stay tuned. 


At the other end of the spectrum, Siemens-Nixdorf Inter- 
national (SNI is Germany's lai^est computer company) 
announced a 105-million-instruction-per-second, 36- 
gigabyte multiprocessor Unix box that uses up to seven 
i486 CPUs: It's as big as a full-size refrigerator. 

SNI also showed us a new version of ComfoWare, a 
complete suite of network-based Windows 3.0 applica- 
tions that offers an attractive and easy way to get an 
office up and running on Windows. SNI has opened of- 
fices in North America and plans to reach out beyond 
its home turf. It's a company worth watching. 

And More 

Amstrad broke its low-end mold with a 20-MHz SX 
color laptop that will sell for about $8000 and is due 
out later this summer. NEC and Canon broke their 
"printers are us" molds, the former with a new line of 
PCs, the latter with a palmtop multilingual dictionary/ 
thesaurus that can simultaneously translate 600,000 
words among three languages. East Coast Software, a 
tiny Irish company, tried to break out of its start-up 
mold with powerful file transfer software, including a 
new version of Trax, which is like PC- Any where on ste- 
roids. CSA Interprint, an Israeli company, broke the 
antiviral mold with new V-Care software that claims to 
be the "world's first generic all-virus protection." 

Well, you get the idea. We'll be featuring the best of 
CeBIT products in future issues of BYTE. It was a great 
show— despite my sore feet. 

—Fred Langa 
Editor in Chief 
(BIX name "f langa") 

10 BYTE- MAY 1991 

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Circle 48 on Inquiry Card (RESELLERS: 49). 

The lEF™can help you deve 
unprecedented quality, prod 

"The lEF is a superior tool for implement- 
ing Information Engineering because It 
Integrates tiie entire process from planning 
through code generation. We're deploying 
the lEF throughout the corporation." 
David V. Evans 
Vice President 

Director, Information Systems 
J.C. Penney 

"The strengths of the lEF are clear-cut. 
One obvious quality advantage Is that 
application changes are made to diagrams, 
not code. This ensures ongoing integrity 
— the specification always matches the 
executing system." 
Paul R. Hessinger 
Chief Technology Officer 
Computer Task Group 

"We are using the lEF to develop a new 
generation of manufacturing systems 
replacing over 300 existing systems. We 
estimate that lEF will Increase our produc- 
tivity by between 2-to-1 and 3-to-1 for 
new systems development.." 
Wal BudzynskI 

Head of Operations, Systems/Computing 

"Our On-line Banking system has been in 
production for more than 12 months— 
500,000 transactions a day— without a 
single code failure. And we had very few 
enhancements to do. Our users got what 
they needed the first time out." 
Mark Quinlan 

Senior Programmer/Analyst 
fluntington National Bank 

I've seen other CASE tools fail, so I raised 
the bar high when we evaluated the lEF. It 
passed with flying colors. I could not be 
happier with my decision to adopt the 
lEF company-wide." 
John F. Mott 

AMR Travel Services 

"We used the lEF to rebuild our aging 

Frequent Flight Bonus system. With DB2 

tables of up to 52 million rows, we needed 

high performance. And we got It.. .98% of 

our transactions complete in less than 

3 seconds." 

Cloene Goldsborough 

Director of Data Resource Management 


"To meet the dramatically reduced time- 
to-market requirements for our products, 
we need high-quality systems that can be 
changed fast. That's why we've chosen 
the lEF as the CASE solution for our entire 
John Pajak 

Executive Vice President 
Mass Mutual Life Insurance 

"Our users were extremely pleased when 
we finished our first project— a 60-trans- 
action system— In one-half the budgeted 
time. We had tried interfaced CASE tools 
without success. lEF Integration makes 
the difference." 
Giorgio Sorani 
Division Head - MIS 

"Our first lEF system was completed 
faster, and with fewer errors, than any 
system I've ever seen. If I had to go back 
to the old ways, I'd find another 
job...outside the DP world. It means that 
much to me." 
Mogens Sorensen 
Chief Consultant 
Nykredit (Denmark) 

p infonnation systems with 
ictivity and maintainability* 

The success of Texas Instruments 
CASE product is proven — in tlic field* 

Major companies have used TI's 
CASE product, the Information 
Engineering Facility™ (lEF'^), for 
everything from rebuilding aging 
high-maintenance-cost systems to 
development of new enterprise- 
wide strategic systems. 

Study shows zero code defects. 

The quality of lEF-developed 
systems is remarkable. In recent 
CASE research by The Gartner 
Group, application developers 
were asked to report the number 
of abends they had experienced. 
(An "abend" is a system failure 
or "lock-up" caused by code 
defects.) lEF developers reported 
zero defects— not one abend had 
occurred in lEF 'generated code. 

Maintenance productivity 
gains of up to 10-to-l. 

In this same study, developers 
were asked to compare lEF 
maintenance productivity with 
their former methods. Of those 
responding, more than 80 percent 
had experienced gains of from 2-to-] 
to iO-to-l. (See chart.) 

Specifications always match 
the executing application. 

With the lEF, application 
changes are made to diagrams, 
not code. So, for the life of your 
system, specifications will always 
match the executing application. 
The Gartner Group research 
showed that all lEF users who 
reported making application 
changes made all changes at the 
diagram level. 

lEF Maintenance Productivity 
Compared to Traditional Techniques. 



B 40 


i 20- 

(Source: Gartner Group, Inc., 8/90) 





Less Same More 
Productivity Productivity Productivity 

Devehpers were asked to compare lEF maintenar^ce to 
former methods. Of those resportding, more than 80% 
reported productivity gairts of from 2-to-l to lO-to-l. 

Mainframe applications can be 
developed and tested on a PC. 

With our new OS/2 toolset, you 
can develop mainframe applica- 
tions, from analysis through 
automatic code generation, on 
your PC. Then, using the lEF's 
TP monitor simulator and the 
diagram-level testing feature, you 
can also test these mainframe 
applications without ever leaving 
the PC. 

More environmental 
independence coming soon — 
develop on PC, generate for 

The lEF has generated applica- 
tions for IBM mainframe environ- 
ments (MVS/DB2 under TSO, 
IMS/DC, and CICS) since early 
1988. Soon you'll be able to 
develop systems in OS/2 and then 
automatically generate for other 
platforms. DECA^MS, TANDEM 
and UNIX are scheduled for 
availability in 1991. More will 

follow. We are committed to 
increased environmental indepen- 
dence in support of the Open 
Systems concept. 

We are committed to standards. 

lEF tools and lEF-generated code 
will comply with standards as 
they emerge. We will adhere to 
CUA standards and to the prin- 
ciples of IBM s AD/Cycle and 
DEC'S COHESION-and we will 
support Open Systems environ- 
ments centering around UNIX. In 
any environment, the COBOL, C 
and SQL we generate adhere closely 
to ANSI standards. Our presence 
on standards committees helps us 
keep abreast of ANSI and ISO 
developments affecting the 
CASE world. 

Full'service support. 

Of course, our technical support, 
consultancy, training courses, 
satellite seminars, and other infor- 
mational assistance will continue 
apace. We also offer re-engineering 
and template services. This full- 
service support will remain an 
integral part of the lEF product. 

For more information, 

including a VHS video demo, 

caU 800-527-3500 or 


Or write Texas Instruments, 

6550 Chase Oaks Blvd., 

Piano, Texas 75023. 

TV " 'Ip 



© 1990 Tl 

Information Engineering Facility and lEF are trademarl<s of Texas instruments. Ottier product names listed are Itie trademari<s of ttie companies indicated. 




Frederic S. Langa 


Ronald W.Evans 

Anne Fischer Lent 


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Audit Bureau of Circulation 

14 BYTE • MAY 1991 

If you want the ultimate VGA graphics standard, and you've resigned yourself to paying a premium of hundreds of 
dollars to get it, you'll find our newest monitor pleasant viewing indeed. 

The PanaSync C1381 gives you a sharp 1024 x 768 pixels, with 0.28 dot pitch. And virtually infinite color resolution. 

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* vat, MCGA and85M/A are trade- 
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• IBM XT, AT and PS/2 are registered 
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istered trademark of Apple Computer 
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for Macintosh. 

The IBM RISC System 

The power you ve been seeking 

It's a never-ending quest for power seekers. 
You're always looking for ways to run your favor- 
ite applications faster. Well, search no more. The 
RISC System/eOOO" family of POWERstations 
and POWERservers gives you power that soars 
as high as 23 MFLOPS. 




POWERstation 320 




DECstation 5000-200 




When it comes to porting, your ship 
has come in. Of course, all the speed in the 
world wouldn't mean much without the appUca- 
tions you need. So the RISC System/6000 family 

already has more than 2,500 of the most popular 
technical and commercial applications up, run- 
ning and running fast. And if you think you 
Imow a good thing when you see it, so do soft- 
ware vendors. That's why you'll also be seeing 
more and more applications coming on board 
the RISC System/6000 platform all the time. 
And if you like to build your own solutions, 
there's a full arsenal of enablers and relational 
data bases from leading vendors, as well as 
CASE tools and a host of popular programming 

A smorgasbord of solutions. Applications 
aheady announced include the IBM engineering 
design packages CADAM; CAEDS; CBDS; 

MFLOPS are the results of the double-precision, all FORTRAN Unpack test 100x100 array suite. The Dhryslone Version 11 lest results are used lo compute/lISC System/6000 Integer MIPS value where 1,757 Dhryslones/second Is 
1 MIPS (Vex 11/780). SPECmark Is a geometric mean of ten benchmarit tests. Ail perfonnance data are based on put>lished benchmark Infonnatlon. ' 

IBM Is a registered trademark, and RISC System/6000 and OAEDS are trademarks ol International Business Machines Corporalton. SPECmark Is a lra<'8";'^»?'.?K°2S'S?™S?5™* Evaluation Corporation UNIX Is a nsolMeiKl 
trademark of UNIX System Uboratorles, Inc CAbAM is a trademark of CADAM INC. CATIA Is a trademark of Dassault Systemes. CBDS Is a trademarK of Bell Northern Research Corporattoa DECstatfcn Is a trademart; oifito IM 
Equipment Corporation. HAQAR THE HORRIBLE Character(s) © 1990 King Features syndicate, Inc © IBM Corp. 1991, all rights reserved. 

6000 family. 

for all your applications. 


CATIA" and AES. Also available are a broad 
spectrum of solutions from vendors like Valid 
Logic, MacNeal Schwendler, Swanson Analysis, 
SAS Institute, SPSS, Wavefront, Alias, Polygen, 
Cadence, Fluid Dynamics International, Western 
Atlas, ECL Petio and creare.X. Scientific and 
technical applications are available in areas like 
physics, structural analysis, chemistry, securities 
trading, mathematics, earth resources, opera- 
tions research, visualization, graphics, technical 
pubMshing and more. There's also accounting 
software like FourGen and support for leading 
UNIX®-based office automation packages. And 
there are key industry apphcations for businesses 
in medical groups, retail stores, newspapers, 
pharmacies and many more. 

Command enormous processing clout. 

The RISC System/6000 family is built to boost 
the performance of the software power seekers 
use most. Its got the best floating point processor 
in the business for numerically intensive 
applications, plus a new superscalar processor 
and incredible 3D 
graphics capabihties. 
To find out more, caU 
your IBM marketing 
representative or IBM 
Business Partner. For 
literature, call 
1 800 IBM-6676, 
ext. 990. 

For the Power Seeker. 

Circle T 53 on Inquiry Card. 


Power Insurance 

Wayne Rash Jr. 's column in January 
("The Power Man Cometh") failed 
to mention the most compelling reason for 
using an uninterruptible power supply 

Using high-quality surge suppressors to 
protect computer equipment is an accepted 
standard. However, transients, wave- 
shape disturbances, dips, sags, and brown- 
outs can pass through even the best surge 
suppressors. In fact, the incidence of these 
types of disturbances is increasing as 
more and more utilities tie into ever-larger 
networks or grids. 

In our experience, the use of a high-quality UPS re- 
duces hardware failures by about 50 percent. To us, the 
ability to ride out power interruptions is merely a side 
benefit. During a complete outage, power is interrupted 
(and restored) in the middle of a cycle, again jolting 
power supplies and potentially weakening the power sup- 
ply or other components. Some computer and UPS 
manufacturers design their systems to switch on or off 
when the alternating current is between states. In this 
way, no stress is felt by the equipment. 

Although we can expect computer equipment to be- 
come more reliable and better able to tolerate power dis- 
turbances, we can also anticipate that the quality of 
utility power will to continue to degrade. To operate effi- 
ciently, utilities will probably become even more inter- 
connected. Furthermore, increasing economic pressures 
could lead to reductions in the maintenance of existing 
lines, causing more interruptions and disturbances. 

The point is that a UPS not only enables a computer 
to make the "soft landing" described by Wayne Rash, it 
also protects equipment from any small disturbances 
that can, over time, weaken components and cause actual 

Charles Smith III 
Mid-Illinois Data Services, Inc. 

Mat toon, IL 

386 Comparisons 

I thoroughly enjoyed Fred Langa's January editorial, 
"The End of Intel's Monopoly?" However, I think that 
some unfair comparisons were made regarding Intel's 
new i386SLchip. 

Langa points out that AMD's Am386 draws only 1 
milliamp of current in sleep mode versus 60 mA for In- 
tel's i386SL. What he fails to mention is that the i386SL 

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU. Please double-space your 
letter on one side of the page and include your name and address. 
Letters two pages in length or under have a better chance of being 
published in their entirety. Address correspondence to Letters Edi- 
tor. BYTE, One Phoenix Mill Lane, Peterborough, NH 03458. You 
can also .lend letters via BlXmatl do "editors. " 

Your letter will be read, but because of the large volume of mail 
we receive, we cannot guarantee publication. We also reserve the 
right to edit letters. It takes about four months from the time we 
receive a letter until we publish it. 

is far more than just another 386. Intel's 
new chip contains a clock, a cache, and 
bus and memory controllers all built 
around a 386 core. Intel calls it a 
"microprocessor superset." With the 
i386SL (and some related support 
chips), it is possible to implement a com- 
plete AT using just 10 components plus 
memory. AMD's Am386 will certainly 
require more support chips than the 
13 86SL— quickly nullifying any power 
consumption advantages it may seem to 
have. Langa makes another statement I 
must take issue with. He says that 
"some 486 instructions execute in fewer 
clock cycles, but most common instruc- 
tions run about the same as on a 386." On the contrary, 
the common instructions have been sped up significant- 
ly on the i486 over its 386 counterpart. Overall, in a 
"typical" instruction mix, the i486 is twice as fast as a 
386 when they're operating at identical clock speeds. 

Chris A. Kantack 
Bellingham, WA 

We focused on different elements of each chip and, not 
surprisingly, came to different conclusions. You say to- 
may-to, I say to-mah-to. My comment about the 
i386SL 's power consumption was intended to create a 
frame of reference in which to understand the Am386's 
power consumption. I make no claims about the overall 
power consumption of complete systems built around the 
chip: only that the Am386 itself is a power miser. 

Regarding typical 486 instruction speeds, it depends 
on what you define as "typical. " The statements in the 
January editorial about 486 execution speeds were 
AMD 's claims, and they were identified as such. The 
claims are not obviously outlandish: We have seen some 
33-MHz 386 machines turn in better low-level CPU 
benchmarks than some 33-MHz 486 machines. But your 
mileage may vary. 

And that leads to the most important, although un- 
stated, part of your letter: something I should have 
stressed in my editorial but did not. Normally, end users 
don 't buy a chip: We buy complete systems. That's why 
BYTE includes not only low-level benchmark results, but 
also real-world application benchmarks. The safest bet, 
as always, is to keep abreast of the new chip technology 
but wait to see real-world benchmarks of shipping systems 
before drawing final conclusions. Only then will we see 
if and how these chips deliver on their early promise. 

— Fred Langa 

Evolving Networks 

I enjoyed "NetWare Troubles" by Barry Nance in Jan- 
uary, and I think the article will be very helpful to 
many NetWare users. 

Nance gave the product TXD a very positive review. 
However, as a TXD developer, I would like to clarify one 
point. The article implies that TXD provides only 
IPX/SPX statistics. TXD will provide important adapter- 
specific information in what is called the "custom vari- 
ables." For example, some token-ring adapters place 

18 B YTE • MAY 1991 

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ring-error monitor statistics in the custom variables. 
NetWare users can also obtain this physical-layer infor- 
mation through other products, such as IBM's LAN 
Manager. Also, NetWare shell and bridge information is 
provided in the TXD product. 

Peter E. Chandler 
Austin, TX 

I took a personal interest in your December 1990 col- 
umn "Kicking and Screaming into the Present" by 
Mark L, Van Name and Bill Catchings. I found it 
typical of the PC mentality that has surfaced in recent 

I wholeheartedly agree with the authors' statement 
that DEC has been "slow." The company has made seri- 
ous blunders over the past decade. However, I don't 
think that networking is an area in which it shows weak- 
ness. DECnet may be a proprietary networking proto- 
col, but its roots started long before PCs ever existed. 
DEC has truly been a leader in the networking arena. 
Competition from the PC marketplace has so driven 
prices down that up-front hardware costs for networking 
solutions, PC or larger, are very comparable. And since 
these costs are only the tip of the iceberg when imple- 
menting PC networks, a DEC solution is looking better 
every day. 

DEC (along with IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Sun, and 
others) is many years ahead of microcomputer network- 
ing developers when it comes to security, data integrity, 
and resource management. All of a sudden, these issues 
have become important to PC users. 

PC networking vendors are reinventing the wheel to a 
certain extent. Sometimes it appears that PC groups re- 
ject any technology proposed by "mainframe" hard- 
ware vendors through fear of being forced into propri- 
etary situations. Many people have learned computers 
from a microcomputer perspective that sometimes serves 
to limit, for them, the range of possible solutions. 

I'm not against PCs— they're great tools when used 
appropriately. Every once in a while, it would be refresh- 
ing to hear comments from a broader perspective of the 
computing world. When this happens, everyone benefits 
by seeing the "big picture." 

Kevin O'Malley 
Park Ridge, IL 

I was pleased to read "Making the Micro-to-Main- 
frame Connection" by Sharon Fisher and "Don't Wor- 
ry, Use HLLAPI" by Mike Fichtelman in the BYTE 
IBM Special Edition (Fall 1990). Here in Australia, the 
Australian Gas Light Co. has been investigating these 
topics for two years, with the following issues in mind. 

With the gradual move to distributed processing and 
databases, personal computers will not be accepted as se- 
rious by the custodians of the mainframe until they can 
exhibit comparable features in terms of security, backup, 
and resource monitoring. 

Many companies have a large investment in System 
Network Architecture links back to a centralized main- 
frame and are reluctant to discard these hard-wired 
links for the sake of what appears to be a moving target 
(e.g. , 4 megabits per second, 16 Mbps, and Fiber Dis- 
tributed Data Interface). 

Assuming that these companies will slowly migrate 
to distributed LANs centrally connected to a host system, 

there are no products available that readily allow data 
transfer from a LAN on one side of the network to a LAN 
on the other without actively invoking a process on the 
mainframe. Seamless integration is unavailable. 

These and other issues will become of major impor- 
tance over the coming years as it is realized that the world 
revolves around neither the mainframe nor the LAN 
and that, accordingly, concessions must be given on both 
sides to ensure that users can get on with the job in a 
way that enhances their business function. 

D. C. MacKinnon 
AGL Information Systems Pty. , Ltd. 

North Sydney, Australia 

Virus Verification 

I just had another virus false alarm, and I thought Jer- 
ry Pournelle and his readers might want to know that 
not everything that goes wrong is due to a virus. Re- 
cently, I was downloading some files from a local BBS 
using Procomm Plus in a Desqview window while doing 
some editing in another DOS window. After terminating 
Procomm and Desqview, I couldn't access anything on 
my E drive. Because I had been getting a lot of files off a 
BBS, I immediately suspected a virus. 

When I looked at the directory of the E drive using 
The Norton Utilities, the information there looked like 
some of the stuff that I'd been downloading from the 
BBS. Then I remembered using my editor to edit the 
PCPLUS.LOG file in the second window. The trouble 
was that Procomm was still using that log file. When I re- 
saved it, Procomm obviously lost the file handle. 

I used Norton Disk Doctor to repair the destroyed di- 
rectory, and Norton Change Directory to rename the di- 
rectories back to their original names. (NDD didn't 
know what the root directory names were, so it renamed 
them DIROOOO, etc. But NCD still knew what the 
names were, so I recorded the old NCD tree structure and 
used it as a map to the new DIROOOO names.) 

To summarize, if you think you've contracted a 
virus, the first thing to do is sit back and try to remember 
what you were doing with the system and what you re- 
cently did to it. You may be surprised to find that it was 
you, and not a virus, that scrambled your machine. 

Steve Nelson 
Mansfield, TX 

Thank you for the story, which makes a very important 
point. I, too, have odd things happen to my machines and 
can usually trace them back to something I have done. 
My virus protection is never to move anything from the 
"test" machine to anything else— a remedy, I fear, that 
is not available to everyone. —Jerry Pournelle 

An Idea Dawns 

The feature article "Genetic Algorithms" by Peter 
Wayner (January) turned on lights and set off bells 
for me. The subject of genetic algorithms is entirely 
new to me, but after I read the article, it occurred to me 
that this just might be the solution to one of my biggest 
programming headaches. 
For a number of years now, I have been working in 

22 BYTE • MAY 1991 

First off, let's get one thing straight. 

We totally agree with Apple! 
A truly powerful computer is meas- 
ured in how often its used. 

But while Apple has taken greai 
strides in making the personal com- 
puter more useful, weve gone sub- 
stantially farther. 

notebook computer. 

Quite simply, theTZOOO SXis a more 
useful personal computer because 
it allows you to work how you want 
to work. When you want to work. 
And where you want to work. 

Painstakingly engineered with 
you clearly in mind, the T2000SX 
will help you work more efficiently 
than ever before. 

Virtually every feature you can 
find on a desktop computer, you will 

a 40MB hard 
disk withl9 msec 
access time. 

But more im- 
portant than the 
specs themselves, 
is the way the 
T2000SX lets you 
use them. Which is more often. 

Our fluorescent side-lit screen provides even 
oflight. \ 

Welcome to the next 

generation in 
personal computing. 

Because die T2000SX can fit easily 
into a briefcase (it weighs a scant 6.9 
pounds) , you can take it anywhere 
you go and use it in more ways than 
you can imagine. 

Need to make revisions to a 


PainUiruBh T Vdl UTMP 

' i I ill: I ilil Vinw I mil Klyli: 

0|ilii)ns ll> 






ili u y ti 

Our technologically superior battery can be 
fully recharg^ in a mere ninety minutes. 

find on dieTlOOOSX; An 80386"SX 

processor with a math coprocessor 

socket, VGA compatible display 1 

MB (expandable to 9MB) of 70 nsec 

RAM, a 40 MB hard disk with 19 

msec access time and 1.5 MB/sec 

data transfer rate. 

© 1991 Toshiba America, Inc. 386Ua trademark of Intel Corporatrbn. *PC WEEK 2/25/91 issue. Apple is a registered trademark of Apple Computer Corporation. 


I I 

1" J 

.1 \ 

T 1 

Our internal AutoResume back up battery 
automatically saves your work if your main 
battery runs out. 

business proposal? TheTZOOOSX 
gives you the freedom to do it from 
a train. The client wants an estimate 
on costs? You can give it to him right 
then and there— wherever there is. 
No more wasting time running 


back to the office. Because the office 
is always with you. 

But just in case there's something 

Our user-installed memory card allows you 
to add up to 8 MB of memory yourself 

.. back at the office you still 
need, you can get back to it 
with our optional built-in 
modem. Which supports 
industry standard error cor- 
rection and data compres- 
sion (CCITT V42,Y42bis, 
MNP"5andlO).It even 
supports cellular data com- 
munications via our optional 
smart cable adapter. 

TheTZOOOSX also has a 
unique feature you won't 
find on any other computer 
in the world. It is called 

AutoResume: Think of 
it as a bookmark 
for your computer. 

AutoResume automatically 
saves whatever you're work- 
ing on whenever you turn 
the computer off. And it lets 
you go directly to the pro- 
gram you were using last 
whenyoure ready to start 
i up again. So you don't 
\ have to reboot, restart 
\ your application and 
\ reload your files. _ 

an optional modem 
that allows data 
communications via 
a cellular phone. 

also helps save 
on battery life 
and it allows you 
to change bat- 
teries without 
losing an ounce 

of information. TheT2000SX 
Asfnrhatfpr.- comes complete with 
AS tor batter- Hypertext online 

ies, theTZOOOSX documentation. 
touts the latest in battery technology 
-Nickel Hydride. Nkkel Hydride 
delivers 22% more watt-hours per 
pound than NiCad and it doesn't 
suffer from memory effect. 

In keeping with the Toshiba tra- 
dition, the T2000SX also offers 
superior ergonomics. Like full-size, 
standard-spaced keys on a key- 
board which has a full set of 12 dedi- 
cated function and 8 cursor con- 
trol keys. And a VGA compatible, 
reversible black on white or white 
on black high resolution display. 

01<ay, kt's wrap 
this thing up. 

These are just a few of the reasons 
why we believe theT2000SX is 
the most useful, and therefore, most 
powerful computer in the world. 
And why ECWeekLabs said, "the 
TlOOOS'X. offers performance 
comparable to the LTE 386s/23, plus 
many of the design features that 
have madeToshiha a market leader 
inportable \ [ jJUiEEi^ 

PCs'.' y.n|fct^ 

If you'd like to learn more about 
theT2000SX or any of our other 
portable computers, caE us at 1-800- 

In closing, we'd like to thank you 
for reading our ad. 

We'd also like to thank our friends 
at Apple for giving us such a wonder- 
ful endorsement. 

In Touch with Tomorrow. 

Circle 311 on Inquiry Card. 


number theory— random-number progression, in particu- 
lar. I am trying to determine if there is any way, with 
any reasonable degree of accuracy, to predict the suit of a 
group of random numbers within a defined subset of in- 
tegers. I haven't had much success up to now. I have been 
trying to apply statistics of past outcomes to predict the 
future. Wild guessing gives me about the same degree of 
success. Genetic algorithms seem to have some 

I would like to add that I think yours is the best com- 
puter magazine on the market. 

Fred Hirschfelder 
Aubagne, France 

Flex Appeal 

I just read Ben Smith's informative feature article 
"FlexOS's Muscle" (January). I couldn't believe 
what I was reading. Here is an operating system for the 
PC that is surprisingly similar to the one I use all day 

I live in the VAX/VMS world and make frequent 
trips to the PC environment. The similarities between the 
VMS operating system and FlexOS are heartwarming. 

VMS can protect files by allowing or disallowing 
read, write, execute, and delete privileges to the follow- 
ing user classes: owner, group, world, and system. This 
is similar to FlexOS. VMS can spawn and create attached 
processes similar to FlexOS's spawned concurrent and 
subroutine processes. Spawned processes that retain their 
parents' ID is another feature that VMS and FlexOS 
have in common. In addition, many of FlexOS's super- 
visor class are very similar to VMS's Digital Command 
Language commands. VMS makes extensive use of logi- 
cals using the Define or Assign statements, as does 
FlexOS's Define supervisor call. 

For an operating system on a PC to be this similar to 
a mainframe takes a major step toward blurring the dif- 
ference between the PC and the mainframe. 

Norman G. Coder 
Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative, Inc. 

Willcox, AZ 

Award Caveat 

Your award in January to Digital Research for DR 
DOS 5.0 is not totally justified. I bought DR DOS 
5.0 with the sole purpose of relocating most of my TSR 
programs in the upper memory of my AT clone, fitted 
with 2 megabytes of expanded memory. That did not 
work. A series of faxes to the company resulted in an ex- 
planation: My AT is not fitted with a Neat or Leap chip 
set. That caveat is not mentioned in Digital Research lit- 
erature and flyers. 

About Quattro Pro, you should know that it does not 
allow the retrieval of read-only files. Lotus does it. 
Would you call that a bug or just an oversight? Besides 
that, Quattro Pro is supplied in the U.S. and Europe with 
Bitstream fonts that are restricted to the first 128 ASCII 
characters— that is, without any accented letters. That 
makes them almost useless in Europe. 

Emmanuel de Bronx 
Leignon, Belgium 

Mac Connectivity 

As an MIS manager, I find all the current hoopla 
over Windows 3.0 and OS/2 Presentation Manager 
very puzzling. The experience of my organization has 
been that the Mac offers far greater connectivity to more 
environments than any other platform. We work in the 
Windows, Macintosh, and OS/2 PM environments. I 
spend half my time with a group of about 25 people now 
using Windows 3.0 on IBM PS/2 70s with 5 megabytes of 
RAM who were previously straight DOS users. We also 
have two PS/2 70s running OS/2 1.2. 

The rest of the time, I work with about 35 people 
using 15 Mac SEs, 15 Mac IIcxs, 2 Mac Ilcis, and 3 Mac 
lis. The Mac II family machines are equipped with 4 
MB of RAM and the SEs with 2.5 MB. 

In the DOS-Windows-OS/2 group, we spend a lot of 
time poring over manuals, trying to kludge together in- 
stallations and struggling with the underlying DOS. 
Users still wind up dealing with weird and wonderful 
filename restrictions and utilities with instructions like 
"Always exit Windows before running CHKDSK with 
the /F option, never run CHKDSK from within Win- 
dows, loss of data may result." Or this statement: "Run 
disk compaction utilities directly from MS-DOS, after 
exiting Windows; damage to the files on your hard disk 
might result." Can you appreciate how counterproduc- 
tive this all is? 

In the Mac group, we simply discuss the work at 
hand. Rarely do we talk about or worry over computer in- 
stallations or support. We need our workstations to help 
us do our work, not to be technical toys for people to tin- 
ker with endlessly. 

Robert Corley 
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada 

Recycling Software 

Brad Cox missed the mark in "There Is a Silver Bul- 
let" (October 1990). Most software professionals 
agree with Cox that reuse is the key to software produc- 
tivity. But object-oriented programming probably isn't 
the royal road to software reuse. The oldest practice of 
software reuse goes back to the 1940s, when the IBM 
Share library was established primarily to exchange 
mathematical software. Although the Share collection 
never got much of a reputation for reliability or efficien- 
cy, other libraries have become quite reliable. The tradi- 
tion in the mathematical software community has long 
been to reuse software. Mathematical software remains 
the only discipline in which reusing existing software is 
the rule rather than the exception. 

What has led to this success? It certainly wasn't a 
flashy new language or programming discipline: Essen- 
tially, all mathematical software is written in FOR- 
TRAN. We conjecture that barriers to reuse are not on 
the producer side, but on the consumer side. If a soft- 
ware engineer, a potential consumer of standardized soft- 
ware components, perceives it to be too expensive to 
find a component that meets his need, he'll write one 
anew. Notice that I said perceives. It doesn't matter 
what the true cost of reconstruction is. 

Until we have adequate notations, nomenclatures, 
and, possibly, tools on the consumer side, no amount of 

26 BYTE • MAY 1991 

Objects At Your Fingertips. 

Now, if you want to develop applications 
for Windows 3.0, there's a fast and easier 
way to do it with the premiere object- 
oriented programming language. 

With SmalltalkA^ Windows, you 
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You can tap into applications using 
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a Windows expert to do it. 

And with one of the world's most 
comprehensive class libraries, you can 

choose our objects or easily build your own. 

But whatever you develop, it will 
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With so much at their fingertips, 
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\ : 


flashy new glitz on the producer side will make soft- 
ware reuse commonplace. 

W. Van Snyder 
Jet Propulsion Laboratory 
California Institute of Technology 
Pasadena, CA 

Computing Compromises 

Robert L. La Fara (Letters, October 1990) wrote, in 
response to Ben Smith's May 1990 article "Around 
the World in Text Displays," that the answer to collating 
problems in unusual names (the examples cited Were a 
name with an apostrophe and his own two-word-both- 
capitalized name. La Fara) is to ease the programmer's 
burden by making the name fit a more standard pattern. 
In the first case, he removes the offending apostrophe; in 
the second, he makes his name a single word— Lafara. 

He misses the boat. It need be axiomatic for everyone 
working throughout the computer field that computers 
exist to serve people, and not that people exist to serve 
computers. Every time people must compromise their de- 
sires to better fit the capabilities of a computer system, 
that event must be seen as a system design flaw, one that 
should be reviewed for correction in the next iteration. 
This attitude is critical to the continued and increasing 
usefulness and efficiency of computers in every seg- 
ment and stratum of society, and it is also critical to any 
hegemony the U.S. yet enjoys in computer technology. 

Leland V. Lipman 
Republic of Korea 

AutoCAD Correction 

Your mail bag has probably been full over an error 
in the May 1990 Computing at Chaos Manor. Auto- 
CAD is written in C, not Lisp, and includes a Lisp in- 
terpreter. The AutoLisp interpreter, which is also written 
in C, is based on XLisp, developed by David Betz of Pe- 
terborough, New Hampshire. 

AutoCAD release 10 for OS/2 and most versions of 
release 11 include the AutoCAD Development System. 
The ADS is a C programming environment that allows 
advanced users and developers to write more sophisti- 
cated programs than AutoLisp can support. The ADS is 
accessed through the AutoLisp interpreter. It is easy to 
understand your confusion over this point. 

AutoCAD runs under DOS, Extended DOS 386 
(Phar Lap), SCO Xenix and Unix 386, Sun Microsys- 
tems' SunOS (Motorola 68000, Intel 386, and SPARC 
architectures), DEC Ultrix and VMS, Apollo's Aegis, 
OS/2, and Mac OS. It would be quite a feat to port a 
program as complex as AutoCAD to so many environ- 
ments if it were written in Lisp. 

Christopher James DeLucchi 
Solatia Beach, CA 

Legal Breakdown? 

I read about the Gilbert Hyatt controversy with fasci- 
nation and horror ("Micro, Micro: Who Made the 
Micro?," January). It is ridiculous that the microproces- 

sor is just now being patented. Our patent system has 
broken down. 

The idea behind the patent is that society gets full 
disclosure and documentation of a useful device or pro- 
cess in exchange for granting the inventor exclusive 
marketing rights for a certain time period. 

An alternative to the patent is the trade secret, with 
which there is no disclosure. The peril of the trade secret 
is that knowledge can be lost forever in any number of 
ways. The inventor can take the knowledge to his or her 
grave. The documentation can be destroyed by fire or 
by simple indifference. And there is a lot of reinventing 
of the wheel. 

Many processes (especially software) in the electron- 
ics industry are trade secrets primarily because it is too 
expensive and time-consuming to get a patent. Our pat- 
ent system has broken down. It is time to fix it. 

Dan Siedelmann 
Idaho Falls, ID 

Behavioral AI 

Your series of articles on AI (State of the Art, Janu- 
ary) discussed the cognitive psychologist's search 
for the "mind" and a replication of "human intelli- 
gence." This would leave readers with the idea that the 
issue of human intelligence is the exclusive domain of 
the cognitive psychologist when it is not. There is a very 
lively debate within the field of psychology regarding 
the view that we must understand the mind to understand 
intelligence versus the view that intelligence is a label 
for a certain group of behaviors. 

From a behavioral perspective, machines already 
show some of the behaviors we attribute to human intelli- 
gence. We will increasingly consider computers intelli- 
gent as the range of machine behaviors increases. But to 
search for some elusive state of "intelligence" will not 
succeed, because intelligence is a category of behaviors— 
not a single, unitary attribute. 

B. F. Skinner said that if a machine can be made to 
think, it will be the best evidence yet that thinking fol- 
lows rules, and following rules is behavior. I suggest 
that AI's conception of intelligence is not too shallow; it 
is too mystical. 

Will focusing on behavioral rules, then, make a ma- 
chine that duplicates human behavior? Only to a limited 
degree. Human behavior is the behavior of an organism 
adapting to its environment. Computers, at least in this 
century, are not organisms, which means they do not 
respond to natural selection and operant conditioning. 
Until they do, those who object to creating intelligent 
machines have nothing to worry about. 

David M. Bean 
East on, MD 


• The Mac Ilfx from Apple Computer (1990 BYTE 
Award of Merit, January) uses a 68030 microprocessor. B 

28 BYTE' MAY 1991 South Dakota, Where Gateway 2000 Customers 

Saved $10,747,179 In One Month. 

"H'e asked an indepeiuleni 
research firm to do a study for us, " 
said Ted mitt, Gateway 2000 
President. "I wanted to see an 
unbiased, direct comparison «/ 
features and prices from the 
manufactwers wlio advertise in the 
Computer Shopper The lesiilts 
were astonishing, " he exclaimed, 
"even to me. Ranked hy best price. 
Gateway 2000 was the only major 
direct marketer at the top of tlie 
lists. The other 'big guys' in the 
direct market field were so far down 
in the rankings I couldn 't even fiivl 
some of litem. Gel a copy of the 
study and see for yourself. "* 

Computer buyers who purchased Gateway 
2000 systems in January saved an average of 
$697 per system. This figure comes from a 
comparison of 132 computer manufacturers' 
advertised prices in the January 1991 issue of 
Computer Shopper. That means Gateway 
customers shared a total savings of $10,747,179 
on 15,427 systems in one month alone. 

No matter where you look, that's the best 
value you're going to find in this industry. 

Providing The Best Value 
Starts With Values 

"Whenever I'm asked," continued Ted, "why 
Gateway 2000 is so successful, my answer is; 
value. When you buy a Gateway 2000 
computer, you're getting the best price, best 

quality and features, best service, all from a 
very strong, healthy company That's value. 
Then I'm asked how we provide value," Ted 
remarked, "and the answer is almost the same. 
It's values. The values of the people at 
Gateway 2000 give our product its value," said 
Ted. "People who grow up in the Midwest 
value fiugahty, quality, resourcefulness, hard 
work, strength, and most of all, integrity and 
honesty in all dealings with other people. 
Providing value in our products starts with 
these values." 

We Value Quality 

every one of nearly 100 skilled assembly 
technicians. These technicians build your 
complete system one at a time. 

We Value Strength 

A company's strength is measured by its 
balance sheet. As independent sources will 
confirm. Gateway 2000 has an enviable balance 
sheet coupled with strong growth, Inc. 
Magazine hsted Gateway as the second 
fastest-growing private company in America 
during 1990. Financial strength is crucial to 
you. What good are warranties, guarantees or 
promises of lifetime technical support if the 

company that sold you the computer goes out 
of business? 

We Value Integrity 

Integrity is the fundamental value without 
which any organization is doomed, At 
Gateway 2000, you'll find integrity throughout 
the company, most visibly in sales and 
customer support. Gateway salespeople 
honestly represent the company and its 
products. Each person you deal with in 
customer support, during and after the sale, has 
a personal commitment to make sure you're 
completely satisfied. 

^> '''' I f ■ 1^ 


Only the highest quality components go into 
a Gateway 2000 computer. Midwestern pride 
in workmanship and quaUty is demonstrated by 

*Cfl// our toll-free number for your free copy_ of 
this informative study of computer industiy prices. 


Gateway customer Robert C. True, Jr., 
writes: "We on lite East Coast have become 
so accustomed to surly uninformed and 
dlsinieresled...staff, thai working with your 
group may have induced an element of 
'Culture Shock. ' Every person in your 
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customer in the world - the one they are 
talking to at the moment. " 
"You've got a friend in ihe business" is 
more than a slogan. It 's our way of life here 
at Gateway 

You Find The Best Values In 
The Most Unusual Places... 


Gateway 2000 Systems 

12MHZ 286VGA 

i 80286-12 Processor 
1.2 MB 5.25" Drive 
1.44 MB 3.5" Drive 
40 MB 17ms IDE Drive 
with 32K Cache 
16 Bit VGA with 5 12K 
14" Gateway Crystal Scan 1024 
Color VGA Monitor 
I Parallel/2 Serial Ports 
101 Key Keyboard 
MS DOS 3.3 or 4.01 


64K Cache RAM 


1.2 MB 5.25" Drive 
) 1.44 MB 3.5" Drive 
J 80 MB 17ms IDE Drive 

with 32K Cache 

16 Bit VGA with I MB 

14" Gateway Crystal Scan 1024NI 

Color VCJA .Moniior 

1 l'aralk-l/2 Serial Ports 

10! Key Kcyhoanl 






1.2 MB 5.25" Drive 
5 1,44 MB 3.5" Drive 

40 MB 17ms IDE Drive 

with 32K Cache 

1 6 Bit VGA with 5 12K 

14" Gateway Crystal Scan 1024 

Color VGA Monitor 
i lParalIel/2 Serial Ports 
1101 Key Keyboard 

MS DOS 3,3 or 4.01 



25MHZ 386CACHE 1 33MHZ 386VGA 

64K Cache RAM f ■ •■ 
4 MB RAM I ■ i 

1.2 MB 5.25" Drive B™ 
1.44 .MB 3.5 'Dri\c 
200 MB 15ms IDi: Drive 
with 64K Multi-Segmented Cache 
16 Bit VGA with IMIi 
' 14" Gateway Crystal Scan 1024NI 
Color VGA Monitor 
1 Parallel/2 Serial Ports, 
101 Kcv Keyboard 




1.2 MB 5.25" Drive 

1.44 MB 3.5" Drive 

80 MB 17ms IDE Drive 

with 32K Cache 
J 16 Bit VGA with 1MB 

14" Gateway Crystal Scan I024NI 

Color VGA Monitor 
3 lParalleI/2 Serial Ports 
i 101 Key Keyboard 

MS DOS 3.3 or 4.0 1 



64K Cache RAM 


1.2 MB 5,25" Drive 

1.44 MB 3,5" Dri\e 

200 MB 15ms IDi; Drive 

with (i4K Miilti-Sesimented Cache 

16 Bit VGA with 1 MB 

14" (iaieway Crystal Scan I024\l 

Color VGA Monitor 

I Paraliel/2 Serial Ports 

101 Key Keyboard 

MS DOS .13 or 4.01 



33MHZ 486VGA 

Same conlimiralion as the 
25 MM/. 486. 



Sanie tealurcs as our 33 .MM/ 
386 VGA system except this 
machine has an 80 MB 17ms 
IDF. Drive instead of the 200 
MB I5nis IDE Drive, 



• Microsoft® WINDOWS™ and Mouse 
with all 386 and 486 systems 

• 30-day nioiicy-back guarantee 

• One-year warranty on parts and labor 

• Leasing options now available 

• Toll-free technical support for the life 
of the machine 

■ Free oti-site service to most locations in 
the nation 

• Replacement parts sent via overnight 
shipping free of charge 

• Free bulletin board technical support 

• New sales hours; 7am- 10pm CSTM-F 
9am-4pm CST .Saturdays 


• Our new 14" Gateway Crystal Scan 1024N1 
color VGA monitor comes standard with 
all 386 DX and 486 systems. This monitor 

is non-interlaced for a flawless, tlickcr-free 
display. 1024 x 768 @ 60 Hz. 800 x 600 
@ 72 Hz. 28 D.P. 

\\i ciislam-biiild each Galeway 2000 cominilcr lo aislamer specifinilmm. V/e 'II gladly provicle you wiih a qiwie 
an yniir l oiifigiiriilion. 386 and 4S6 are trademarks of Intel Corporation. 
Due lo the volatility of the DRAM market, all prices are subject to change. Prices do not include shipping. 




610 Gateway Drive • N. Sioux City, SD 57049 • 605-232-2000 • Fax 605-232-2023 


Adobe's New Font Technology Will Give Users 
More Control Over Type 

dobe Systems (Mountain View, CA) is perfecting new font technology 
" that will give Mac and PC users greater control over computer-generated 
text. The upcoming Multiple Master typefaces are specially encoded Type 1 
PostScript fonts that you will be able to easily manipulate to produce a wide 
range of type from one core design. You will also be able to control the main 
design elements of the typeface, including weight (lightness or boldness), width 
(condensed or expanded), and visual scale (size). As Adobe chairman John 
Warnock said while demonstrating the technology on a Mac II at the recent 
Seybold seminars in Boston, Multiple Master font rendering "recaptures the 
flexibility calligraphers had back in 1400, " 

A Multiple Master typeface is basically a single spongelike font that can 
shrink or grow while still retaining its original shape. Working with one scal- 
able font design, Adobe's encoding scheme and related software can generate a 
character of any size or weight, instead of requiring you to have a whole set of 
fonts for each typeface (e.g. , regular, medium, condensed, expanded, bold, and 
semibold). With Multiple Master, the one design can generate the whole range. 
"We design two extremes and get the intermediates synthetically," Warnock 
said. Adobe intelligently interpolates the points between the extremes to gener- 
ate all the gradations of weight and width. 

Multiple Master fonts will have benefits for "everyone who uses type to com- 
municate information," said analyst Jonathan Seybold. One benefit will be in 
fitting text in a given space (e.g., trying to squeeze two more lines onto a one- 
page memo). With Multiple Master typefaces, you could shrink the text so it all 
fits on one page, without changing the point size, shape, or perspective of the 

"One of the biggest advantages to businesses is in font substitution," War- 
nock said. Say you generate a document using a Bodoni font and then send that 
document to someone who doesn't have Bodoni on his or her printer. When it 
comes out, it will be in Courier, the line breaks will be different, and the text 
won't look like you intended. A system equipped with Multiple Master technol- 
ogy will instead construct a typeface that mimics the one the sender used; it 

Think of a 
Multiple Master 
typeface as this 
matrix of 
character designs, 
in this case, a sans 
serif design. The 
four corner letters 
each represent the 
basic, or master, 
designs: top left is 
light condensed, 
and top right is 
light expanded; 
bottom left is 
black condensed, 
and bottom right 
is black expanded. 




Apple's foray into RISC tech- 
nology should yield real products 
soon, a company official reveals. 
"We do have RISC projects under 
way ... in the future product cate- 
gory," said Mike Dionne, senior 
vice president of sales at Apple 
USA. "And we're talking to all 
the major suppliers of those 
microprocessors and chips. We are 
very much interested in the tech- 
nology. I think you'll see it incor- 
porated into Apple products rela- 
tively soon." As for other high-end 
machines, Dionne confirmed that 
the rumored 68040-based "Tower 
Mac" is "(a) in the plan and (b) 
on schedule." 

As for that so-called battle be- 
tween the Mac and Windows- 
based PCs, Apple officials are 
taking a communitarian approach: 
What's good for one graphical 
user interface is good for another. 
About Windows' effect on Mac 
sales, Mike Dionne said, "We 
have, in fact, done very well in 
the environment that Windows has 
helped to create," because there 
is now "more awareness around 
the graphical user interface. We 
think we have a product and an op- 
erating system that is superior to 
DOS with Windows layered on top, 
for most applications. And a lot 
of that is subjective. . .but our 
sales are brisk." 

Lasting memories: Ramtron In- 
ternational (Colorado Springs, 
CO) has brought its first nonvol- 
atile RAM chips to market. The 
company claims that its ferro- 
electric RAMs, or FRAMs, are 
the first dynamic memory chips 
that can maintain information after 
losing power. The CMOS chips 
hold data in special ferroelectric 
storage cells. The first FRAMs 
hold only 4000 bits, but the com- 
pany says that 256,000-bit ver- 
sions are in the works. 

MAY 1991 • BYTE 29 


might not look exactly the same, but it 
will have identical character widths. 

Another example that Adobe officials 
mentioned is a publication that has to in- 
clude text in different languages— a user's 
manual, for instance. French and Ger- 
man versions take up more space than the 
English version, but Adobe demonstrated 
how its Multiple Master software shrinks 
French and German text into columns 
the same length as the English text. The 
technology will work equally well with 
nonroman alphabets, Warnock said. 

There's an economic consideration 
also, Adobe officials said. "If these fonts 
are bundled with low-cost laser printers, 
you can have a wide variety of type just 
from these Multiple Master fonts," War- 
nock said. 

Multiple Master typefaces will work 
on Macs, PCs, and PostScript printers 
already out there. They'll install just like 
any other Adobe typeface, Warnock 
said, and you can download them into 
any PostScript printer. "We have it up 
and running on a Mac and on a Windows 
PC," he said. 

Adobe expects to be shipping its Mul- 
tiple Master designs— initially, a serif 
and a sans serif typeface— this summer. 
(Prices haven't been set yet.) These fonts 
will come with a version of Adobe Type 
Manager and a program called Font Cre- 
ator that will let you generate the type. 
Whether companies (e.g., Bitstream) 
will develop Multiple Master versions of 
their fonts isn't clear yet. 

— D. Barker 

NEC Says New Design and Process Yields 
100-MHz, 200-IVIFLOPS Processor 

ntel wasn't the only company that re- 
vealed a revved-up chip at the recent 
International Solid State Circuits Con- 
ference (see the April Microbytes). Re- 
searchers from rival NEC described a 
new design for a 64-bit vector pipelined 
processor that they say runs at 100 MHz. 

NEC says that a processor using its 
pipelined design can perform five opera- 
tions in parallel: addition or shift; multi- 
ply, divide, or logical; load; supply; and 

transfer. Since two of these are poten- 
tially floating-point operations, the pro- 
cessor is theoretically capable of 200 
MFLOPS. Similiar to Intel's approach 
with its 100-MHz i486, NEC's design 
uses a 0.8-micron triple-level metal pro- 
cess. It's likely that this type of process 
will soon become common, resulting in 
more chip makers capable of producing 
high-speed ICs. 

— Owen LInderholm 

AMD's 386 Due Soon In 40-MHz Desktops; 
Battery-powered Notebooks to Follow 

'loning the Intel 386 is the easy 
'part. The bigger challenge is de- 
signing a chip that offers something that 
Intel's doesn't. Advanced Micro Devices 
has managed both by producing a pin- 
compatible processor that's faster and 
that consumes less power than any of In- 
tel's 386s. AMD is now shipping its 
Am386 chips in volume, and systems 
using the alternative CPU should start 
showing up soon. Because of its low- 
power requirements and special "sleep" 
mode, the chip could be the basis of full 
32-bit notebook computers that will run 
on batteries for as long as less-powerful 

AMD has a standard model called the 
Am386DX (in speeds of 20, 25, and 33 
MHz), but the really significant device is 
the Am386DXL, which not only needs 
considerably less current than any of In- 
tel's chips but also runs at 40 MHz. This 

model will give you about 20 percent 
faster performance than Intel's 33-MHz 
386 and twice the speed of the SX, ac- 
cording to AMD officials. AMD's 0.8- 
micron CMOS process is designed to 
produce high-speed, low-power chips 
and "gives us good yields on the higher- 
speed parts," said Mike Webb, director 
of marketing for AMD's Personal Com- 
puter Products Division. The manufac- 
turing technique could produce CPUs 
that go faster in the future, he said. 

According to Webb, for any given 
clock speed, an AMD device will need 
about 30 percent less power than an Intel 
device; for example, at 33 MHz, the 
DXL runs on 275 mA, while the Intel 
386 needs 550 mA. But, Webb says, in its 
sleep mode, the Am386DXL essentially 
stops the clock and the current drain on 
the battery is 0.08 mA. The DXL also 
gives off less heat, so computers based on 

There's 9 million business 
telephone listings out there, and 
Dataware Technologies (Cam- 
bridge, MA) has put them all on 
one CD-ROM called Speed Dial. 
To obtain all that information 
(the equivalent of 4800 Yellow 
Pages books). Dataware has de- 
veloped a slick search mechanism. 
You can look for any business by 
its name or by its directory head- 
ing (computer dealer, car rental 
agency, and so on), either by city 
and state or by area code. If 
you've got a modem, the program 
will dial the number you select; 
you can pop into the directory 
from within your application pro- 
gram. That Chinese restaurant 
you're trying to remember the 
name of— you could probably find 
it in seconds. Speed Dial ($399) 
works with IBM-compatible CD- 
ROM drives. 

New twisted-pair cable from Bel- 
den Wire and Cable (Richmond, 
IN) can carry data at speeds of 
up to 100 Mbps, the company 
says. The DataTwist cables work 
with all LAN topologies and come 
in shielded and unshielded 

Hewlett-Packard has licensed 
AutoCAD display list drivers from 
Panacea (Londonderry, NH). 
The drivers will speed up Auto- 
CAD drawing when using HP's 
IGC-10 and IGC-20 graphics 
boards. Actix has also licensed 
drivers from Panacea, for use with 
its Texas Instruments Graphics 
Architecture-based graphics 

They often call me Speedo: X 
Window System users will some- 
day have slick, scalable fonts now 
that Bitstream (Cambridge, MA) 
has donated its Speedo type-scal- 
ing technology to the X Consor- 
tium. X Window users will be 
able to generate smooth bit-map 
fonts on the fly, in virtually any 
size. Bitstream's rasterizer code 
will be built into the font server 
of X Window version 1 1 , release 
5, which is supposed to be ready 
later this year. 

30 BYTE* MAY 1991 

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When you build a better mous 

Microsoft" Mouse devotees num- 
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Just what kind of mouse inspires 
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Well, the kind with a patented 
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The kind of mouse that wins the 
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Not to mention the 
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it won't need as much cooling as current 
386s, AMD says. 

System designers using the DXL will 
be able to build 32-bit portables that are 
the size and weight of current SX note- 
books and can run on batteries for 3 to 4 
hours, Webb said. "It'll be very possible 
to have TravelMate-size machines with 
the DXL in it," he said. (Texas Instru- 
ments' TravelMate is a 5-pound SX- 
based machine.) Chip sets that support 
the DXL's clock-stopping standby mode 
will be available soon, Webb said. 

Computers based on the high-speed 
AMD chip will cost "within $50 at the 
system level" compared to Intel 33-MHz 
machines, Webb said. "A 40-MHz 386 
with a 64K- or 128K-byte direct mapped 
cache will be very cost-effective," he 
said. The 40-MHz systems will require 
fast (at least 25-ns) static RAM chips, 
but their cost difference is negligible, he 
said. The 40-MHz DXL costs $306 each 
in bunches of 100. Prices of the other 
chips are subject to negotiation. 

ore than 20 companies have com- 
mitted publicly to designing 
hardware that will work with Microsoft's 
PenWindows operating environment, the 
extended version of Windows geared to 
understand commands from a pen or sty- 
lus. Some of the first PCs to use PenWin- 
dows will be hybrid portable computers: 
part typical laptop with a keyboard and 
part electronic clipboard with a tablet- 
like screen. The systems will open up 
like a clamshell, but the keyboard will be 
detachable; the CPU and storage devices 
will be housed in the tablet module, so 
you will be able to work with just the tab- 
let and pen, according to Microsoft. 

The PenWindows roster now features 
some of the biggest electronics compa- 
nies in the Far East, including the lead- 
ing laptop makers: Toshiba, NEC, and 
Seiko-Epson. Other PC manufacturers 
on the list are Sharp, Mitsubishi, Sanyo, 
Kyocera, Fujitsu, and Samsung. Canon, 
Hitachi, and Oki also say that they're 
planning pen-based systems using Pen- 
Windows. NCR, Wang, and Grid had 
already disclosed their PenWindows sup- 
port. Momenta, which started up specif- 
ically to develop pen computers, is also 
planning software and development tools 
based on PenWindows. 

In the U.K., the Eden Group already 
has a prototype tablet-style PC running 

The first computers to use the Am386 
will be desktop models, such as Bell 
Computer Systems' already announced 
40-MHz system, which costs $2995. 
Those should reach the market soon. 
"Battery-operated, full 32-bit DXL sys- 
tems" will follow by a quarter or two, 
according to Webb. At Comdex, expect 
to see DXL machines with enhanced 
power management features in their 
BIOS, he said. "One of the advantages 
we offer is that the system company can 
pick its own power management 
scheme," Webb said. 

BYTE Lab test results have shown the 
Am386 to be completely compatible with 
the Intel chip. The legal wrangling be- 
tween AMD and Intel continues, but 
AMD says that it's confident its rival 
won't stop it from selling its version of 
the popular CPU. Although no major PC 
manufacturers have yet committed to 
using the AMD chip, several say they're 

— D. Barker 

PenWindows (it will also work with Pen- 
Point, when that's ready). Eden's Paper- 
talk VPi386, designed around a 16-MHz 
386SX CPU, is a 2.4-kg device built in 
the tablet style. Its top surface holds a 
backlit, black-on-white LCD that emu- 
lates a 640- by 480-pixel VGA display. 
You can "write" on this coated screen 
or, with the right overlays, use the metal 
area framing the screen as a function-key 
zone. Eden doesn't plan to sell the Pa- 
pertalk system under its own name; in- 
stead, it will offer it to OEMs. 

Conspicuously missing from the Pen- 
Windows list are major U.S. computer 
makers, such as IBM (a PenPoint sup- 
porter), Compaq, Tandy, and Hewlett- 
Packard, as well as leading PC doners 
such as Dell, AST Research, and ALR. 
Some observers say that these companies 
are waiting to see how the pen-comput- 
ing market shapes up. 

Microsoft recently issued copies of a 
beta PenWindows software development 
kit. The real product is supposed to 
be ready later this year, a spokesperson 
said. PenWindows PCs— which will 
probably cost about $500 more than their 
conventional counterparts— will be an- 
nounced before the end of the year, Mi- 
crosoft officials say. But when they'll 
ship is anybody's guess. 

—B. Barker 

Intel has announced a second 
generation of EISA support chips. 
The new 82350DT EISA chip set 
is a superset of Intel's existing 
82350. It allows considerably 
more integration, reducing total 
EISA-compatible motherboard 
space to about one-third of that re- 
quired with the older 82350 chip 
set. It is a six-device chip set with 
DRAM control and peripheral 
I/O support. The chip set costs 
$200 in 1000-unit quantities. 
Intel expects the chip set to be 
used in modular designs, where 
the CPU resides on a daughter- 
board and can be upgraded by 
adding a faster CPU module. 

A survey of managers at sites 
using Hewlett-Packard computers 
found some of their top "strate- 
gic concerns" to be database tech- 
nology, application development 
environments, and getting their HP 
systems to work with other types 
of computers. Personal computers 
were low on the Unix user's list 
of priorities, while they were high 
on the list of MPE users. The In- 
ternational Association of Hewlett- 
Packard Computer Users (Sunny- 
vale, CA) conducted the study. 

Areal Technology (San Jose, 
CA) says that it has started high- 
volume production of its IVz-inch 
60-MB hard disk drives. Areal 
uses a different technique than its 
competitors: Instead of aluminum, 
it uses a glass disk substrate; this 
makes a smoother surface so that 
read/write heads can fly closer to 
the platter, says the company, and 
the drive mechanism can deal 
with denser data on the disk. Areal 
hopes to have 100-MB hard disk 
drives available this summer. 

The Electronics Industry Associ- 
ation (Washington, DC) has drawn 
closer to finalizing CEBus, the 
proposed "home automation stan- 
dard" for letting appliances and 
devices talk to each other. The 
EIA has approved interim stan- 
dards for sending signals using in- 
frared beams and for connecting 
communications devices using 
twisted-pair wires. 

PC Makers Sign On to Use PenWindows; 
Portabies Due Later Tills Year 

34 BYTE • MAY 1991 

We slash interface 
development time. 

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a fraction of the time it takes to 
write the code yourself! 

Why try to reinvent the 
wheel when Vermont Views lets 
you interactively create pull-down 
menus, window-based data-entry 
forms (with tickertape and memo 
fields), scrollable form regions, 
choice lists, context sensitive 
help, and a host of other interface 

VermontViews combines the 
convenience of a fourth genera- 
tion language with the power, 
flexibility, and blinding execution 
speed of native C code. 

Turn your prototype 
into the application. 

Let's face it. With most systems, 
you have to throw away your proto- 
type when coding begins. Which 
means you waste precious time 

and effort. With Vermont Views, 
things are a lot different. In fact, 
the prototype actually becomes 
the application. So menus and 
data-entry forms are usable in the 
final application without change. 
Names of functions for retrieving, 
processing, and storing data 
can all be specified as the proto- 
type is created. And that's just 
for starters. 

Here's a truly 
universal solution. 
When you create an inter- 
face with Vermont Views, 
you can port it among 
XENIX, and VMS. 

VermontViews can be 
used with any database 
that has a C-language in- 
terface (most do), and will create 
interfaces for any roman-based 
language. Our form-locking ver- 
sion lets you develop quickly and 
safely on networks and multi- 
user operating systems, too. 

If you need DOS graphics in 
your applications, we also have 
the answer. Vermont Views™ 
GraphEx allows all Vermont 
Views' windows, menus, and 
forms to work in CGA, EGA, VGA, 
and Hercules graphics modes. 
So you can use your 
favorite graphics package 
to create charts, graphs, 
and other images to enhance 
text displays. 

Call for your FREE 

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(Please mention "Offer 118") 

Don't take our word for it. Put 
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FAX: (802) 848-3502 

Circle 328 on Inquity Card. 


Beyond ASCII: Group Promoting ''Global Code" 
for Information Exchange 

n the increasingly interconnected 
global village, with computer users 
trying to send data from one country to 
another, ASCII, as its name says, is just 
too American. The American Standard 
Code for Information Interchange has al- 
ways lacked the characters to express the 
written words of most of the world's peo- 
ples. Now a consortium of major com- 
puter companies says that it has the solu- 
tion: a new "global computer code for 
storage and transmission of text around 
the world." The Unicode group says that 
its proposed standard (currently in final 
draft form) will make it easier to write 
multilingual software and simplify in- 
ternational information exchange. 

Like ASCII, Unicode basically assigns 
a number to a character, but Unicode 
tries to cover every printed character in 
use today. Unicode's fixed 16-bit code 
set will allow 65,000 characters, which 
supporters say will accommodate "all 
major living languages," including ideo- 
graphs used in Japan, China, Taiwan, 
and Korea; Cyrillic; Hebrew; Arabic; 
Greek; Sanskrit; and many others. The 
character set also has math and technical 
symbols, subscripts and superscripts, ac- 
cent marks, control codes (carriage re- 
turn and linefeed), and codes that mark 
the direction of the text (left to right or 
vice versa). The whole set now consists 
of 25,000 characters, which means that 
there is a lot of room left. 

Unicode isn't the only one trying to 
formulate a universal language for com- 
puter code, however. The ISO has been 
working for years on its own multibyte 
universal character set. The proposed 
ISO Draft International Standard 10646 
takes the opposite approach from Uni- 
code's "unification," which saves space 
by eliminating duplicate characters; in 
an attempt to maintain compatibility 
with current sets, the ISO system instead 
maintains the character codes from the 
many existing national and international 
character sets. Since there is substantial 
duplication, the total number of charac- 
ters is much larger. In the ISO method, 
every character in its basic form requires 
32 bits, or 4 bytes, to be represented. 

One important thing Unicode has that 
could help it become a widely accepted 
format is the backing of major (Ameri- 
can) computer companies. Work on the 
character set began in 1989 at Xerox and 
Apple, and the group has since been 
joined by representatives from IBM, Mi- 
crosoft (which says it will support Uni- 
code in its upcoming "portable" OS/2), 
Sun Microsystems, Novell, Aldus, Meta- 
phor, GO Corp. , and Next. If these com- 
panies actually implement Unicode in 
their systems and software, users of pop- 
ular personal computers and Unix work- 
stations could soon be downloading Uni- 
code files instead of ASCII. 

— D. Barker 

Swordflsh Could Speed Up Imaging Operations 

ational Semiconductor (Santa 
Clara, CA) has developed a new 
RISC chip that could radically crank up 
the speed of imaging devices such as 
laser printers and graphics boards. The 
company's new "Swordfish" is a 50- 
MHz 64-bit RISC chip with a built-in 
digital signal processor (DSP). The com- 
pany claims that the device can perform 
100 MIPS, putting it ahead of other em- 
bedded processors. 

Swordfish builds on the architecture of 
the company's 32CG16 and 32GX32 em- 
bedded processors (and will be delivered 
with translators to migrate code from the 
older devices). The new processor uses a 
superscalar design with two independent 
integer units, an FPU, on-chip data and 
instruction caches (IK byte and 4K 
bytes, respectively), and the DSP. The 
internal architecture is 64 bits wide, and 

the external interface can be 8, 16, 32, or 
64 bits. Like other high-performance 
processors, Swordfish is a 0.8-micron 
CMOS device. It contains about 1 . 1 mil- 
lion transistors, the designers say. 

Operating at 50 MHz, the chip can 
perform 2 integer instructions per cycle, 
or 100 MIPS, National Semiconductor 
says. The company also says that Sword- 
fish executes 115,000 Dhrystones per 
second, which is about 10 percent faster 
than Intel's i860. 

Swordfish is aimed at processing- 
intensive embedded applications such 
as controlling printers, recognizing pat- 
terns, compressing/decompressing data, 
and processing video. The company says 
that it has already lined up significant 
partners, including Adobe, Microsoft, 
and Canon. 

—Andy Relnhardt 

Sales forces say that they've 
gained profit, time, and productiv- 
ity by using laptop computers, 
according to a new study. After 
surveying sales managers at 3000 
manufacturing companies, re- 
searchers at Texas Christian Uni- 
versity (Fort Worth) concluded 
that "the benefits of the laptop 
appear to be very positive." Sales- 
people use laptops mostly for 
correspondence, E-mail, access to 
data on mainframes, and presen- 
tations. But laptop makers should 
note: One of the reasons cited for 
not using laptops was the cost of 
the machines. 

If you're keeping R&D records 
and notes on your hard disk drive 
or on a bunch of floppy disks, 
you might look at a new pamphlet 
from the American Chemical So- 
ciety's Committee on Patents & 
Related Matters. "Electronic 
Record-Keeping for Patent Pur- 
poses: Cautions and Pitfalls" dis- 
cusses using computer equipment 
to maintain records. To obtain 
the free pamphlet, contact the ACS 
at (202) 872-4479. 

X Window software developers 
may have to start paying license 
fees to AT&T if it turns out that 
they're using what AT&T says is 
patented technology. AT&T has 
notified some X Window imple- 
menters of its patent #4,555,775, 
issued in 1985, that is entitled 
"Dynamic Generation and Over- 
laying of Graphic Windows for 
Multiple Active Program Storage 
Areas." AT&T says this technique, 
invented by Bell Labs researcher 
Robert Pike, is used in the X Win- 
dow System "backing store" 
function, which is basically a 
means of redrawing a window on 
the screen. However, the backing 
store function is not always im- 
plemented in X Window software. 
At press time, the X Consortium 
had not yet officially responded to 
AT&T. Meanwhile, "Those of us 
who sell X in small volume are 
keeping our heads down and hop- 
ing DEC or somebody big can slug 
this out with AT&T," said one X 
Window developer. 

36 BYTE • MAY 1991 





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Half the size of a standard PC, the Infinity Desktop 
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This Should Be the Month for System 7.0 

The System 7.0 era should begin this 
month, as Apple is expected to fi- 
nally release its overhauled Macintosh 
operating software. Apple sent "near- 
final" beta versions to most developers 
in late February, hoping they'd have 
"System 7.0-ready" programs available 
by the expected official May 13 launch 
date. (May 13 is the first day of the Apple 
Worldwide Developers Conference.) 
This public release date could be changed 
to June if unforeseen bugs show up be- 
fore then. 

System 7.0-compatible programs will 
support core AppleEvents (messages that 
are passed from application to applica- 
tion and from application to System); 
Balloon Help (hypertext-like help mes- 
sages that can be turned on and off); and 

icrosoft says that it has sold more 
than 2.75 million copies of Win- 
dows 3.0, but some people involved in 
developing Windows applications say 
that only half of those copies are actually 
being used. Brian Conte, CEO of hDC, 
which makes Windows utilities, said at 
a recent conference that only "one-half 
to one-third of Windows buyers are actu- 
ally using it." 

Brad Silverberg, Microsoft vice presi- 
dent for DOS and Windows, said that 
over 2.25 million copies of Windows 
were sold through retail channels, over 
half a million were sold bundled with 
hardware, and more than 40,000 copies 
were sold to software developers. That 
makes a total of more than 2.75 million 
copies sold since the introduction of Win- 
dows 3.0. But if Conte is right, there are 

In a development that could lead to 
low-cost speech capabilities inside 
computers. Information Storage Devices 
(San Jose, CA) has developed a new chip 
that is able to hold analog samples of 
speech and sound. ISD's first chip, the 
ISD 1016, can store up to 16 seconds of 
recorded voice that the company says 
sounds better than what you hear over a 

Direct Analog Storage (DAS), as the 
technique is called, uses a modification 
of EEPROM design and puts the sound 

the Publish/Subscribe mechanism for 
hot-linking creators and viewers of infor- 
mation. Apple watchers say they expect 
there could be as many as 200 or so Sys- 
tem 7.0 programs at the time of the offi- 
cial rollout. Major Mac software houses 
will all update their applications to tap 
into System 7.0. 

The company is expected to also re- 
lease to developers the new QuickTime 
"media manager." QuickTime is an 
operating-system extension for dealing 
with multimedia input and output and 
with coordinating devices such as video- 
tape machines, video cameras, scan- 
ners, CD-ROM drives, and audio gear. 
Users could see QuickTime by late sum- 
mer, some Mac insiders say. 

— Larry Loeb 

only about 1 .5 million Windows users. 

Perhaps part of the reason for the sus- 
pected lag is that corporate users are 
sometimes slow to accept change, and 
many microcomputer managers say that 
they've had to provide hard evidence of 
productivity gains to justify large-scale 
migration to Windows. 

Corporate Software (Canton, MA) 
and Microsoft conducted a pilot project 
to study the use of Windows at 14 corpo- 
rate sites. Despite Microsoft's participa- 
tion, the project could document only a 
10 percent productivity gain during the 
first year of Windows use. Still, Corpo- 
rate Software says, Windows 3.0 offers 
"intangible benefits" such as improving 
worker morale and encouraging users to 
"explore" their software environments. 

— Ellen Ullman 

in what is essentially a 128K-byte cell 
EEPROM. Although it stores the sound 
in sampled form, the chip does not store 
it digitally. The samples are analog. 

The heart of DAS is a floating-gate 
EEPROM. The floating gate turns the 
EEPROM cell on or off depending on 
whether it is strongly positive (on) or 
strongly negative (off). The charge on 
the gate modifies the conductivity of the 
underlying transistor. In DAS, the float- 
ing gate is charged only moderately, and 
the conductivity of the transistor takes an 

GCC Technologies (Waltham, 
MA) has dropped the price of its 

Personal LaserPrinter II for the 
Mac from $1399 to $999. The PLP 
II is a QuickDraw-based machine 
that prints 4 ppm, at a resolution of 
300 dpi. (GCC cut the price of 
the 8-ppm model, the PLP IIS, 
from $1899 to $1499.) The unit 
comes with 22 scalable Bitstream 
fonts. "We see this primarily as 
a laser printer for Mac Classic 
owners who would otherwise 
have to settle for an ink-jet 
printer," said Jonathan Hurd, 
vice president of marketing. GCC 
also lowered the price of its Post- 
Script-based Business LaserPrinter 
II, from $2399 to $1999. This 4- 
ppm machine lists for less than 
HP's LaserJet IIP for the Mac 
($2195) and Texas Instruments' 
microLaser PS17 ($2144 with 

IBM has shaved 5 percent to 20 
percent off the prices of certain 
PS/2 models: 30 (286-based), 55 
and 60 (386SX-based), and 80 
(386-based); for example, IBM's 
least expensive SX machine, the 
Model 55 SX-031 (a 16-MHz SX 
with 2 MB of RAM, a floppy disk 
drive, and a 30-MB hard disk 
drive), now lists for $2995, down 
from $3495. At the higher end of 
the PS/2 line, the Model 80-081 (a 
20-MHz 386 with 2 MB of 
RAM, a floppy disk drive, and a 
80-MB hard disk drive) is now 
$5495, down from $6845. Prices 
might vary from dealer to dealer, 
an IBM spokesperson pointed out. 

In a much bigger price cut — a 
veritable buzz-sawing, really- 
Computer Associates (Garden 
City, NY) mowed its SuperCalc5 
spreadsheet program from $495 
to $149. The company said that the 
"new pricing strategy reflects 
CA's commitment to the needs of 
PC users." Be that as it may, Su- 
perCalc is in a market segment 
that's getting more competitive, 
with leaders Lotus, Microsoft, and 
Borland all trying to woo each 
other's customers. CA plans a Su- 
perCalc5 upgrade this spring, 
and a Windows product is likely. 

Windows Selling Big, 

But How Many Are Running? 

Low-Cost Chip Holds Analog Speech 

38 BYTE' MAY 1991 


intermediate value. In a DAS chip, the 
strength of the sound determines the 

A DAS chip also contains amplifiers, 
clock filters, and just about everything 
else needed for a speech system, A de- 
signer building a talking device would 

only have to add batteries, a microphone, 
a loudspeaker, and a few other parts. 

ISD is selling the chips for about $20 
each (in lots of 1000), making the ISD 
1016 less expensive than other solid-state 
sound-recording devices. 

—Rick Cook 

Bellcore Uses Laser Beam to Beat the Clock 

) esearchers at Bellcore (Livingston, 
B NJ) have prototyped a new device 
that could help overcome one of high- 
speed computing's big bottlenecks: the 
clock. While CPUs can process data at 
lightning speeds, they still have to wait 
for the signal from the clock— they'll al- 
ways be bound by the physics of electrical 

The scientists are speeding up the tim- 
ing signal by using laser beams and 
strands of optical fiber. Inventors Peter 
Delfyett and Davis Hartman connected a 
semiconductor laser beam, which gener- 
ates the master timing pulse, to a strand 
of optical fiber. A device called a star 
coupler splits the laser light into 1024 
beams, which then shoot down separate 
strands of fiber to 1024 computer circuit 
boards (containing receivers). The laser 

That red beam of light comes from 
Bellcore 's semiconductor laser, which 
researchers have used to send timing 
signals to computer circuit boards. The 
laser-based clock could someday be the 
master timing device inside superfast 
computers. The experimental technique 
could also crank up data transmission to 
warp speed. The dot of laser light is 
smaller than George Washington 's eye 
on the dollar bill. 

beams' pulses are more accurate than 
those generated by electronic compo- 
nents, Delfyett said. When zapping the 
1024 circuit boards, the accuracy of the 
timing signal is "true to within 12 tril- 
lionths of a second," he said. The re- 
searchers say their technique could allow 
a computation rate of one command ev- 
ery 120 trillionths of a second (compared 
to a current desktop machine's execution 
rate of about one command per one-mil- 
lionth of a second). 

Semiconductor lasers have been used 
as timing devices, but their clock signals 
were slower because the laser beam had 
to be turned on and off, researchers said. 
Bellcore's "mode-locked" laser works 
like an oscillator, flipping constantly be- 
tween on and off. The pulses are so pre- 
cise that they keep the optical clock es- 
sentially free of signal variations, or 
jitters, Delfyett said. 

The Bellcore system now sits on an op- 
tical workbench, but it could be squeezed 
into a case the size of a shoe box. 

Bellcore's technology is geared to- 
ward large, high-speed machines, like 
supercomputers, where signals have to 
travel to hundreds of boards. One practi- 
cal application of the work of Delfyett 
and Hartman will be in high-speed data 
transmission. "With the advent of opti- 
cal communications, switches will look 
more and more like computers and will 
need to be able to do processing on pack- 
ets of data just like a computer has to pro- 
cess data," commented Ken Young, dis- 
trict manager of Interconnection and Ac- 
cess Technology Research at Bellcore. 
"And they'll need to do it much faster." 
The Bellcore scientists say their tech- 
nique will give data communications the 
kick into warp speed. 

— D. Barker 

TECHNOLOGY NEWS WANTED. The news staff at BYTE is interested in hearing about 
new technological and scientific developments that might have an impact on microcom- 
puters and the people who use them. If you know of advances or projects relevant to micro- 
computing, please contact the Microbytes staff at (603) 924-9281, send mail on BIX to 
Microbytes, or write to us at One Phoenix Mill Lane, Peterborough, NH 03458. An elec- 
tronic version of Microbytes, which offers a wider variety of computer-related news on a 
daily basis, is available on BIX. 

Modems burn less gas: The 
number of workers who telecom- 
mute instead of drive to the 
office two or more days a week 
will continue to increase, accord- 
ing to a new survey of managers in 
the Sah Francisco Bay Area. Of 
those surveyed, 41 percent said 
that they think the number of 
telecommuters will climb 10 per- 
cent to 15 percent in two years. 
Most of those surveyed currently 
have staffers who telecommute, 
and the pollsters said "a signifi- 
cant number of the managers su- 
pervising telecommuters cited their 
increased productivity as a key 
benefit." The survey was taken by 
the Northern California Telecom- 
muting Advisory Council, spon- 
sored by the University of San 
Francisco and the Pilot Group. 

Micro Computer Resources 

(Oakland, CA) has compiled a 
database of more than 6500 
quotes, called Wisdom of the 
Ages. The $79 package, which 
works with DOS PCs, contains apt 
phrases from both the Western 
and Eastern traditions, which you 
can view side by side for compar- 
ison. You can search and filter 
quotes by author, subject, or 

WordTech Systems (Orinda, 
CA) says that its Quicksilver/Unix 
dBASE compiler has been certi- 
fied by the Unix System Laborato- 
ries to be compliant with Unix 
System V release 4. Quicksilver/ 
Unix ($1495) compiles DOS- 
based dBASE language applica- 
tions to run without modification 
under Interactive Unix 386, SCO 
Unix 386, and other compatible 
operating systems. 

IBM is now reselling Novell Net- 
Ware on an equal basis with its 
own LAN Server. James Canna- 
vino, general manager of IBM's 
Personal Systems division, said 
that IBM and Novell are develop- 
ing version 3.2 of Novell Net- 
Ware for OS/2 2.0, AIX, and the 
NetWare kernel. The products 
will be available by mid-1992, 
claims Novell CEO Ray Noorda. 

40 B YTE • MAY 1991 


Only Zortech Gives You Total Portability to MS-DOS, Windows, 
OS/2, DOS 386, UNIX 386. And Macintosh. Right Now. 

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Now that C++ lias made sigiiil'icaiit inroads 
iiil'i iii.iiii-lii'aiii ,i|i|iliraliijM Idiiiiii'MI. 
iiai-i i'Ik'ii-i' dii- ( — ruMiiiilfi di.ii i- 
/Oi '"' ''"'I" and {iNiialiilih 

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>'aiMiii<: acclaiiii lioiii \i\ir (.oiiiintliT 
I aii!iii'i<:(' l)i DuIiIk and iiian\ 

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mailers... in the development cycle 
For example, using the DOS/^i 
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s.-rrotytp svsr 






If llieiv h oiir eoiMani in ( .++ de\rl 
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lainiK orprodiici." kei p'^ \oiiriipiioih 
e.vacllv how llicv -liimld lie. Open. 

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LSrnF. ET, WoBURN, MA OlOOl TEL: (617) 937-0 
OHD Strf. liT, London SEI8 6BG TEL; +44-1)1- 3 1 

* Source: MS-DOS. C++ Compilers, A comparison by the Ladd Group, (c) 1990 

VfhAX Ifl7 ■■ 1707/1 
6. 7 7 7 7 F a' X : / H - « I - 3 I * ■ 4 I 3 I) 


Some days you have 
all the time in the world 


Ifa 1 



When the pressure is ori,pour 
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The LaserJet IlISi is specifically 
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•Suggested U.S. list price, © 1991 Hewlett-Pacl(ard Company PE12101 




A PC and 1-2-3 
in the Palm of 
Your Hand 



and Lotus make 
palmtop computing 
more meaningful 

Although notebook computers are becoming 
- commonplace, you can still create quite a stir 
when you use one on an airplane. But pull out 
the new Hewlett-Packard 95LX, and you prob- 
^ ably won't get any reaction at all. That's be- 
cause at first glance, the 95LX looks more like 
^ an overweight checkbook than a PC. Its di- 
minutive size belies its true nature: The 95LX 
is a complete DOS computer based on an 8088-class processor. 

Like an electronic organizer (e.g., the Sharp Wizard), the 95LX includes a 
suite of personal productivity applications designed to replace the traditional 
Day-Timer Planner. It also doubles as an HP financial calculator. But what really 
sets the 95LX apart is that it comes standard with Lotus 1-2-3 release 2.2 built 

44 BYTE- MAY 1991 

into its ROM. Including the software, 
512K bytes of RAM, DOS3.22 in ROM, 
an industry-standard solid-state mem- 
ory-card slot, and some remarkable com- 
munications options, the whole pocket- 
size package sells for a suggested retail 
price of less than $700. 

When combined with the tiny Touch- 
base WorldPort modem and the Kodak 
Diconix printer, which HP will remarket 
to 95LX customers, this new palmtop 
may once again alter people's definition 
of the portable office. The 95LX could 
become a must-have item for mobile ex- 
ecutives or people who crave the latest 
electronic gadget. 

A Micro Micro 

HP and Lotus jointly developed the 
95LX in close consultation with Intel, 
Microsoft, and Phoenix Technologies. 
The tiny, shall we say, "toeprint" of the 
machine is due to a remarkable feat of 
miniaturization by Intel: a PC-compat- 
ible motherboard measuring only IVi by 
SYg inches— not much larger than a credit 
card— with performance about 2 times 
that of an IBM XT, according to HP. 

The HP palmtop not only fits in your 
pocket, it's also small enough to get lost 
in your briefcase. It weighs a mere 11 
ounces and measures 6'/^ inches wide, 3% 
inches deep, and 1 inch high. This is a 
little more than half the size of the 
1-pound Poqet PC. 

Along with the small size come some 
trade-offs. The 95LX has a 16-line by 
40-character, nonbacklit supertwist 
LCD screen, so it shows only a few col- 
umns of a typical spreadsheet. However, 
we found the display highly readable in a 
variety of lighting conditions. The com- 
pany says that it achieved this readability 
by driving the display at 12 volts, instead 
of the usual 5 V. The other and more se- 
rious drawback is the keyboard. Even 
though it uses a standard QWERTY lay- 
out and includes function keys and a 
numeric keypad, it is too small for seri- 
ous typing. 

■ The 95LX runs on two AA batteries or 
an AC adapter. HP says that a pair of bat- 
teries will power the machine for two 
months, but we weren't able to test this 
claim. To prolong battery life, the system 
relies on power-saving tricks that are 
used in HP calculators: The processor 
rests between keystrokes, and after 5 
minutes of nonuse, the system shuts 
down. When reactivated, the 95LX re- 


turns to the state it was in when it left off. 
A commonly available (CR2025) lithium 
backup battery on the underside of the 
95LX keeps your RAM alive when you 
change the A A batteries. 

Canned Applications 

The 95LX comes with seven built-in ap- 
plications: 1-2-3, an appointment book, 
a telephone book, a memo pad, a file 
manager, a communications program, 
and HP Calc, an advanced financial cal- 
culator. On-line help is available with the 
Fl key. The programs share a similar 
Lotus-like user interface, including the 
common use of "soft" function keys and 
the ability to share keyboard macros. 
They also support cutting and pasting of 
data from one program to another, which 

ne of the most 
convenient aspects 
of the 95LX is 
that ail the buiit-in 
are always open. 

is especially useful for transferring data 
between 1-2-3 and the calculator's back- 
solving HP Solve utility. 

One of the most convenient aspects of 
the 95LX is that all the built-in applica- 
tions are always open, so you can instant- 
ly access them by pressing one of seven 
buttons labeled with icons near the top of 
the keyboard. When you switch from one 
application to another, or when you turn 
off the 95LX, you always return to exact- 
ly where you left off. 

DOS applications on solid-state cards 
or downloaded from another PC can be 
run from the DOS prompt. The 95LX in- 
cludes one slot for memory cards that 
comply with the PC Memory Card Inter- 
national Association standard, and HP 
has lined up several third-party vendors 
to deliver software cards for the system. 


Hassle-Free Printer Sharing 

for the HP LaserJet 11, IID, III and HID 

"The ServerJet is the smoothest and most practical 
way i l<now to share a LaserJet. " Frank j. oertier, Editor 

PC Magazine, 1/1 5/91 

Here's how you and your co- 
workers can have your own HP 
LaserJets without breaking the 
corporate budget. 

It's called BlmplAIM SenvrJet. 

Simply plug the SeiverJet into the 
'Optional I/O' slot of your HP 
LaserJet. Stretch phone cable, up 
to hundreds of feet, to each 
computer. Then, 12 people can 
simultaneously whooosshh 
documents to the LaserJet at 
speeds as fast as 115,200 baud. 

No more wandering down the hall 
with floppy in hand. 

Or borrowing someone else's 

Or wasting time waiting to print. 

The ServerJet is available in a 
variety of models with up to 4MB of 
buffer memory. And because your 
office may have printers other than 
HP LaserJets, ASP Computer 
Products offers a complete line of 
printer sharing solutions. 

To order your SeiyerJet or for more 
information call ASP at: 



1026 W. Maude Avenue, Suite 305 

Sunnyvale, California 94086 

Phone: 408-746-2965 • Fax: 408-746-2803 

SimpLAN & ServerJet are trademarks of ASP Computer Products, Inc. / HP LaserJet is a registered trademarlc of Hewlett-Packard Co. 

Circle 39 on Inquiry Card. 

MAY 1991 •BYTE 45 


These cards include Meca Software's 
Managing Your Money, Houghton-Mif- 
flin's dictionary and thesaurus, Contact 
Software International's Act! contact 
management package, and Globalink's 
phrase-translation packages. 

An open application programming in- 
terface will let developers customize 
their DOS applications for the 95LX by 
adding support for the desktop manager, 
clipboard, or soft keys. HP says that even 
without writing to the API, standard 
DOS programs won't lose any function- 
ality running on the 95LX, except that 
their interfaces will shrink to 40 

By putting DOS, 1-2-3, and all the ap- 
plications in ROM, HP has freed up most 
of the 95LX's standard 512K bytes of 
RAM for data files. A setup utility lets 
you allocate available memory between 
the C drive RAM disk and space needed 
by the operating system to run programs 
that reside in ROM; for our evaluation, 
HP recommended setting aside about 
126K bytes of RAM for the system. 


Because it has no floppy disk drive (and 
since few applications now exist on mem- 
ory cards), the primary means to get data 
in and out of the 95LX is via one of two 
interfaces available with the system. The 
most familiar is a small bidirectional 
serial cable that is supplied, along with 
software for the host PC, in an optional 
HP connectivity pack. 

The connectivity pack is a complete 
copy of the organizer applications in- 
cluded with the 95LX. Once loaded on 
the host PC, the applications can be run 
just as they are on the palmtop, which 
means that you can keep the same memos 
or telephone log on your desktop ma- 
chine as you do on your 95LX. 

Updating the files is easy: you just 
connect the machines, select the commu- 
nications application on both, and then 
transfer or share files— at 57,600 bps- 
using a split- window interface. For mo- 
dem users, the 95LX includes built-in 
terminal emulations and a variety of 
transmission protocols. 

The other interface option is a two- 
way infrared connection, a technology 
borrowed from earlier HP calculators. 
With the infrared link, two properly 
aligned 95LXes within 8 inches of each 
other can transfer files at 2400 bps 
without using cables. The infrared link 

also works with the HP 48SX calculator. 
HP says that it is exploring other uses for 
infrared technology, such as a print link 
that would let you beam files to a printer 
for hard-copy output. 

Later this year, HP expects to intro- 
duce a third interface option for the 
95LX, an RF module being developed by 
Motorola that uses the company's alpha- 
numeric paging technology. 

Alas, the Keyboard 

It seems there's always a catch, and in 
the case of the 95LX, it's the keyboard. 
When we first looked at the palmtop, we 
joked that nobody would use it to write 
the Great American novel. Unfortunate- 
ly, after using the system for a while we 
have to revise our assessment: Even the 
Great American short story would be dif- 
ficult to pull off. 

The problem is twofold: First, the key- 
board is simply too small for touch typ- 
ing, and the layout is just strange enough 
that two-finger typing seems to involve 
more hunting than pecking. Second, the 
keys aren't really keys, but rather calcu- 
lator-type buttons. For entering meetings 
into a calendar, the buttons are fine, but 
using them to write more than a few sen- 
tences is tedious. 

HP readily acknowledges this problem 
and makes a point to characterize the 
95LX not as a replacement for a PC but 
as an adjunct. The literature suggests 
that appropriate textual applications 
would include reading E-mail, proof- 
reading documents, or composing short 
memos. And if you need to do number 
crunching, the 95LX, unlike the Poqet 
PC, has the advantage of a numeric key- 
pad. In a nutshell, if you use a mobile 
computer for writing long memos, the 
95LX may not meet your needs, but if 
you want a souped-up organizer and cal- 
culator, you're in luck. 


The 95LX invites comparison with the 
Poqet PC and, to some extent, with the 
Atari Portfolio. The differences are 
worth exploring. If you're looking for a 
full-time laptop, the Poqet may be a 
more realistic option than the 95LX, be- 
cause its display is 80 characters wide 
and its keyboard is much bigger— large 
enough for entering text. On the other 
hand, the Poqet requires not only larger 
pockets but also deeper ones: Even with 
its price reduced from the original $2345 

to the current $1450, it costs twice as 
much as the 95LX, and it doesn't include 
Lotus 1-2-3. 

The Portfolio costs only $300 and is 
comparable in size to the 95LX, but it's 
much less capable. The display shows 
only eight lines of 40-column text, and 
the standard RAM configuration is only 
128K bytes— not enough to run 1-2-3 or 
much of anything else these days. 

HP's 95LX is an engineering triumph, 
incorporating amazing advances in min- 
iaturization and connectivity. Coming 
from HP, the 95LX is unlikely to have 
the bugs that have afflicted some other 
palmtops, and even the prototype units 
felt solid and durable. 

Of course, there are weak points. We 
were a bit disappointed by the built-in or- 
ganizer applications, which didn't seem 
very intuitive to use, especially when 
compared to some of their desktop cous- 
ins. Ideally, the 95LX could be a bit flat- 
ter, and we might have been willing to 
accept a slightly larger footprint in ex- 
change for a bigger screen and a less 
challenging keyboard. But these seem 
like minor points compared to our over- 
all positive impression. 

It's simply amazing to be able to put 
all your appointments, telephone num- 
bers, and other necessary information 
into your shirt pocket, inside a machine 
almost one-hundredth the size of an IBM 
PC that can run the same software as that 
PC. If you've ever wanted to unobtru- 
sively run a spreadsheet model while fly- 
ing on an airplane, your moment has fi- 
nally arrived. ■ 

David Andrews is BYTE's associate news 
editor for What's New and Andrew Rein- 
hardt is a BYTE news editor in New York. 
You can reach them on BIX as "dave.- 
news " and "areinhardt, " respectively. 


$699; connectivity pack, $99.95; 
128K-byte RAM card, $199.95; 
512K-byte RAM card, $399.95 

Hewlett-Packard Co. 
1000 Northeast Circle Blvd. 
Corvalis, OR 97330 
(503) 757-2000 
fax: (503) 750-4689 
Circle 983 on Inquiry Card. 

46 BYTE' MAY 1991 

"...when the full 16 stations in( hided 
in the test were active. The Tan.nenl 
Multi-Server 433e was still the laslesl..." 

PC Week l/7/m 


Tangent Server Maintains Performance Lead 
As LAN Size Increases 



Advflnooil Loglo Rqseflroh PowetCnoho 33/40 S^CSS InbofntorleB MajtSyB 48eTe/3a 

flmoilonn Mllno MITAC 42800 tfiiSj Ooll OompulM 8»»lom lim 

AT&T Oomiiutoi Syiterm Slmsorvsr s ^HHowloH-PnolMi<IVoolf4'l8l! 

Oompmi Computer systompfo Model 406-840 r|^T8ngom Computer M«IH'S0(¥«:433o 

Oopam USA 4a9V/m IHA SlTIlt NetworR OonnMttoii Tiliimpit TMX 188/33 

m__ _ ^ 


It 10 18 ao 85 30 3B 40 I 

"« »vtllii« timo (onuiri-d tot oath sysM ta m ?M bylf a ot (ite ton ons sUmca mam, ' 
■ im»> • J I..- ' i.Korii j-l r-aMJfoaorws In itie cllcnl'j pnvate Uredotj, llwn lo 

''A consistently strong performer across 
all testS; the Tangent model 433e stands 

out in this group. " PC Magazine April 16, 1991 

¥ , 1 
I I : 



<'I!(»IC F 

April 16, 1991 
Tangent 433e 

PC Magazine, April 16,1991 


Tangent Model 433e 

by Bill O'Brien 

Tangent Computer's foray into the 
realm of the EISA bus is represented 
by an investment-quality machine. 

"The big winner is the Tangent..." 

BHE, Oct ober, 1990 


TenoonI Madol 425 
Compaq Do Bkpto 406/28 
Tondon 4!6iS5 

°.--LLOZlBe~n^.".~l"4.) ""1" 63.4 

lOjTIIiEii EjSiZIZjl£Zr:iO si.e 

ilRTlfj)] i'aT 9^4 ['"^^~TlD 37.7 


□ Oc,r,.„ 0™ D?;^?', D 1|' 

When the editors got through writing.about Tangent 80486 
systems, they didn't leave us a lot to say. Except price. First, 
compare performance. Then compare price. What you'll see 
is that Tangent is the price-to-performance leader in 486 . . 
systems, with a range of models designed to fit any need. 

Tangent Multi-Server 433ms 

Capable of replacing 5 to 10 conventional servers. 

• Intel 486-33 MHz EISA 
•'Up to 64 MB RAM 

• SCSI Drive Arrays Up to 12 GB 

• Continrious l-3ms Average Access 

• Up to 4 Ethernet Ports or 96 Serial Ports 

• UNIX or NOVELL Configurations Priced from $14,900 
Tangent 433e/425e 

Our high-end, award winning engineering workstation. 

• Intel 486-33 or -25 MHz EISA 

• 200 MB to 2.4 GB of Disk Storage 

• lISAGaChing 32 Bit Disl{ ContfoUer ^ 

• Non-interlaced SuperVGA Monitor 
Tangent 433i/425i 

A 486 at a 386 price. 

• Intel 486-33 or -25 TyfHz ISA 

• 10SMBUpto2.4GBofDlskStorage 

• Choice of IDE, ESDI or SCSI 
: A\ Non-intedaced SuperVGA Motlltbr ■ > 

486 your way. Tell us your applications and operating envlrontaent 
ahd We'U configure a system to meet your needs 100%. Then we'll build, 
test and ship your system., Pronto. 

We're here when you need us. Our sales and support engineers are 
as near as your telephone. . ' ■ 

Tangent is your first call for affordable high performance. 

Call toll free: 1-800-223^6677 

Priced from $5,995 

Priced from $3,695 

*A11 pricing subject to change without notice. ©1991 Tangent Computer. - ' - 
Tangent is i registered trademark of Tangent Computer, Inc. 486 is a 

registered trademark of Intel Corporation, Other product names may be the ' ' 

, trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies, 

Circle 295 on Inquiry Card. 


C , 0' M ' P ' U T E R 

197 Airport Blvd.v BUrlingame, CA 94010' ' 
Phone:'41S7342:9388 TAXi 415/342:9380' 


Apple Introduces 
Low-Cost Laser 
Quality with Style 


Apple's low-cost 
printing solutions 
to complement 

When Apple introduced its new systems last 
— year, it immediately increased its sales and an- 
swered critics who had been claiming that 
Apple computers were too expensive. Never- 

theless, Apple neglected to provide a solution 

Its new Inexpensive in one important area: printing . Until now , the 

Apple printer lineup has consisted of a range of 

systems laser printers, from the Personal LaserWriter 

SC to the LaserWriter IINTX, as well as the 
ImageWriter II dot-matrix printer. Third parties have taken the opportunity to 
fill in the gaps with cheaper laser and ink-jet printers. However, Apple has now 
come out with two low-cost printing solutions to complement its new inexpensive 

The Personal LaserWriter LS is a carefully designed printer that's based on 
QuickDraw rather than PostScript. It's almost identical to the Personal Laser- 
Writer SC in capability, but it costs considerably less. 

The StyleWriter is more unusual. It's an ink-jet printer that's based on the 
Canon Bubble- Jet, but it's been completely redesigned by Apple. It has a resolu- 
tion of 360 dots per inch and is also a QuickDraw-based printer. 

Both printers work with TrueType, the new font-scaling technology being de- 
veloped by Microsoft. These two printers are the first ones available that work 
with TrueType, and Apple is including TrueType system software with the 
printers , as well as the basic 1 3 Apple system fonts . 

Personal LaserWriter LS 

The Personal LaserWriter LS is based on 
the Canon LBP-LX engine. It has a serial 
connector and the usual Personal Laser- 
Writer paper handling with a 50-sheet 
paper feeder. It is 8 inches tall, 15 inches 
wide, and ISVi inches deep; it weighs 31 
pounds. The design is similar to that of 
the Personal LaserWriter SC, except that 
it's smaller and has a different paper 

The printer is controlled by a custom 
application-specific integrated circuit 
(ASIC), which decompresses data re- 
ceived from the system. It also includes 
an additional oscillator that's used to ex- 
ternally clock the Mac's serial port at a 
higher rate to transfer data to the printer 
at a higher rate. The serial port usually 
transfers data at up to 57,000 bps. Apple 
says that Macs can pass data to the LS at 
up to 900,000 bps. 

This printer uses only 512K bytes of 
RAM, one of the ways Apple has been 
able to keep the price down. Neverthe- 
less, it is still able to print a full page of 
text and graphics, because the data is 
compressed by the printer driver in the 
Mac and then decompressed in strips by 
the custom ASIC in the printer, so that 
the 512K bytes can hold the compressed 
form and the uncompressed strip at the 
same time. In addition, the memory is 
managed so that the next page can be sent 
to the printer and stored while the first is 
still printing as enough memory space is 
freed. Thus, the Personal LaserWriter 
LS is faster than the Personal Laser- 
Writer SC. 

The Personal LaserWriter LS also 
comes with a printer driver that spools 
printing to the hard disk and then prints 
the document in the background. This 
lets Mac users get back to work more 
quickly than they otherwise would. 

The one major failing of this printer 
is that it's a QuickDraw printer. This 
means that Encapsulated PostScript 
(EPS) files don't print properly; instead, 
a coarser bit-map version is printed. 
However, the addition of TrueType fonts 
into the system software for this printer 
means that it is capable of printing high- 
quality fonts at any point size. 

The Personal LaserWriter LS is now 
Apple's least expensive laser printer. It 
essentially replaces the Personal Laser- 
Writer SC, with which it compares favor- 
ably. It's mostly intended as a single-user 
laser printer, for someone who needs the 

48 BYTE" MAY 1991 


PC Graphics for Everyon(>! 

Ameziiig special effeete 

• envelope (warp) text and graphics 
« simulate 3D with perspective function 
o extrude to give depth to text/graphics 

• blend between shapes and/or colors 

Incredible type controi 

• over 1 50 fully scalable outline fonts 

• see exact fonts on-screen 
9 paragraph and multi-column text 

• import ASCII text files 

• fit text to a curve 

• create your own fonts or symbols 

Superb value 

• over 4000 symbols and clipart images 

• dotted and dashed line styles 

• over 80 arrowheads 

• dozens of vector and bitmap patterns 

• free Pantone* license 

• 24 bit color supported 

• 3 1 import/export filters 

• CorelTRACE - batch autotrace utility 

• MOSAIC - visual file manager 

• WFNBOSS - typeface converter 

\CaU customer service: (613) 728-8200 for information and a free demo disic 

^Pantone, Inc.'s check-sfandani trademark for color reproduction and reproduction materiQls. 

Requires MS-WINDOWS 3.0 

Circle 75 on Inquiry Card (RESELLERS: 76). 


(613) 728-8200 
(613) 761-9176 

Circle 335 on Inquiry Card (RESELLERS: 336). 



PiES'l MATUllS, 

You don't need a LAN to network your , 
printers! LASERNET's printer sharing family 
provides all the features you need for any 
requirement, at the price you want to pay. 

WTI has low-cost, serial or parallel, 
non-buffered models, for low printer-sharing 
demand environments. Share from four to six 
PCs; perfect for the small office or school: 
PSU-41A/AP - 4 inputs; single output ..$149 
QwikShare® - 6 inputs; single output; spooling 
software, cables and connectors included $19 5 

WTI has buffered, multiple output, serial/ 
parallel models for fast-access, high-volume 
printer sharing needs. User can select printer of 
choice directly from PC; 
QwikShare n - 6 inputs; 2 outputs; buffered 

from 256KB to 2MB start at $295 

PSU-82C/SP - 8 inputs; 2 ouputs; plotter, 
CAD, high-level graphics capability; buffered 
from 256KB to 2 MB start at $595 

For twelve or more users requiring high- 
speed peripheral sharing and file transfer, WTI 
has Multi-Link™, the ultimate serial/parallel 
peripheral-sharing device. Expandable through 
dedicated high-speed link, up to 384 any-to-any, 
user selectable ports, over 4,000 feet. Perform 
printer/plotter sharing, modem pooling, 
PC-to-PC communication and more: 
IMulti-Iilik - 12 any-to-any ports; baud 
rates to 115 K; buffered from 256K 
to 4 MB start at $795 

All products made in U.S.A., backed by a 
3-yeaf limited warranty with service and 
technical support. 

To order* or for More Information, 
Call Toil-Free 


FAX 714-583-9514 

o western™ 
iD telematic inc. 

5 sterling, Irvine, ca 92718 

•Visa, MC Accepted 

Same Day Shipping 


convenience, quality, and speed of a 
laser printer but hasn't mucli money. 


Tiie most immediately striking feature of 
the StyleWriter is the way it looks. On its 
own, without the accompanying sheet 
feeder, it looks like an elongated, invert- 
ed T. In this form, it can print manually 
fed single sheets. The printer also has a 
clean, straight-through paper path, 
Which makes it ideal for printing enve- 
lopes, However, it does come with an 
automatic sheet feeder that holds 50 
sheets. This clips directly to the back of 
the printer. 

Another striking feature of this print- 
er is that it's almost silent in operation. 
The print quality is incredibly good at 
360 dpi. Not surprisingly, the Style- 
Writer produces output similar to that of 
the Bubble- Jet. The ink used is formulat- 
ed to dry quickly. Thus, by the time a 
page drops into the paper holder, it' s dry. 
The trade-off for fast drying is that the 
ink is water-soluble and will smear if 
water is spilled onto a page. Each ink 
cartridge prints about 500 pages. 

The StyleWriter is considerably slower 
than a laser printer. It prints a page in ap- 
proximately 2 minutes in its letter-qual- 
ity mode. It has a draft-quality mode of 
180 dpi, which lets it print one page per 
minute. It also receives compressed data 
from the computer. However, the Style- 
Writer doesn't have as much built-in in- 
telligence as the Personal LaserWriter 
LS. Therefore, it receives one strip of 
data from the computer at a time, decom- 
pressing and printing it before receiving 
the next strip. The printer works faster 
when attached to faster Macs, because 
they're able to compress the data and 
send it faster. 

The StyleWriter is also a QuickDraw 
printer and has trouble printing EPS im- 
ages. However, the 360-dpi resolution 
happens to be exactly five times that of a 
standard 72-dpi screen-based bit map, so 
these images look somewhat better than 
on a laser printer. Also, since it prints at 
360 dpi, it's able to produce high-quality 
gray-scale images, in some cases notice- 
ably better than a 300-dpi laser printer. 

The StyleWriter comes with TrueType 
and produces excellent-quality text. I 
tried it with a wide variety of fonts, in- 
cluding a full kanji TrueType font, and 
got legible output in sizes from 4 points 
to over 100 points. 

The StyleWriter is a high-quality 
printer that does, however, operate slow- 
ly. It is intended to be a low-cost alterna- 
tive to a laser printer that is still able to 
print with good quality. The addition of 
TrueType fonts makes it an excellent 
printer for high-quality document print- 
ing where single- or low-copy volumes 
are required. It isn't suitable for printing 
large batches of documents. Its main im- 
portance is that it lets the Apple family 
have a convenient laser-quality printer 
for a low price. In some ways, it's in- 
tended to replace the ImageWriter II, 
since it costs the same but has far superi- 
or quality and somewhat superior speed. 
However, the ImageWriter II still has 
some niches left, notably in printing 
multiple-copy forms. 

With these two printers, Apple finally 
moves into the low-cost arena. Their de- 
sign shows some of the excellent techni- 
cal expertise available from Apple at its 
best. Apple has done a good job of taking 
these printer designs and pushing their 
performance as far as possible. The Per- 
sonal LaserWriter LS is a worthy con- 
tender for the crown of best inexpensive 
laser printer; the StyleWriter sets new 
standards for ink-jet printing. The street 
cost of a Mac Classic with a hard disk 
drive and the StyleWriter will be $1600 
to $1700, which makes the combination 
an extremely competitive one when 
stacked up against less well integrated 
solutions based on the IBM PC. a 

Owen Linderholm is a BYTE senior news 
editor. You can reach him on BIX as 
"owenl. " 

Personal LaserWriter LS 


(includes driver software, 
TrueType fonts, and System 6.0.7 
required to run it) 


$599 (includes driver software, 
TrueType fonts, and 
System 6.0.7) 

Apple Computer, Inc. 

20525 Mariani Ave. 
Cupertino, CA 95014 
(408) 996-1010 
Circle 1 1 65 on Inquiry Card , 

SO BYTE • MAY 1991 

is awesome. . ." 

"Hey, I now own tlae perfect 
portable tiiat lets me get my work 
done anywhere. Not just a few files . . 
.everything I had on my desktop!" 

"Powerfiil? You bet! After I 
downloaded all my desktop stuff, on 
it's 200 MB HD, I stiU had plenty of 
room left and it screamed through 
everything at 11 MIPSF 

"My Dolch P.A.C. is setting new 
'rules'. It's portable, fast and I still can 
add 4 full-size internal expansion 
cards. Wow!" 

"You have to see the brilliant display 
— I mean really see it. TFTk the latest 
color technology, that's flilly VGA 

"T ley ! Don ' t take my word 
for it. Experts like PC 

Magazine judged my Dolch 
P.A.C. to'. . . outclass all 
other portables' and picked 
Dolch three years in a row as 
Editors' Choice!" 






"Get a Dolch today, choose a 
286™, 386SXTM, 386DX;r'^ or a 486™ 
like mine. . . clearly the best PC you 
an buy today, and it happens to have 
a handle. Get a lot more work done 
-where and when you want." 

Why Wait?. . .Call today. 
(800)538-7506 US; (800) 233-2077 CA 
In Canada call Laptech 1-800-561-4527 


, ms 372 Turquoise Street • Milpitas, CA 95035 • Tel: 408-957-6575 • Fax: 408-263-6305 
™ 286, 386SX,3S6DX, and 486 are registered trademarks of Intel Corporarion 

Circle 103 on Inquiry Card. 


This new generation 
PC is remarkable for the 
performance and practi- 
cality it provides. Carry 
it from the office, to 
home, to multi-site 
locations so all your 
programs and files travel 
conveniently with you. 

Customers and critics 
alike are praising the 
Brick for its portability, 
elegant design, whisper 
quiet operation and 
screamingly fast power 
This diminutive PC with 
the unforgettable name is 
designed for the way 
you always wanted to 
do computing. 

Here's a sampling 
from recent articles on 
the Brick. 

"Every once in a while a PC 
product comes along in 
which the performance, 
design and concept are so 
uncommon that a little 
voice inside you says you 
really want to have one." 

Jon Pepper, 

PC Sources, 11/90 

"Engineered with the way 
people actually work in 
mind. It answers the 
question of how to trans- 
port an entire environment 
to and from several work 
sites, something no other 
product handles elegantly." 

PC/Computing, 12/90 

"Overall the Brick repre- 
sents a clever counter to 
conventional notebook 
designs. It solves the 
fundamental problem of 
two-location computing. 
You get to keep your home 
and away files in sync 
because they are the same." 

Tracy Licklider 


"Ergo's Brick maintains the 
functionality of a desktop 
PC within a small form- 
factor.. .the Brick is a real 
performer, consistently 
outperforming both 
Compaq's and IBM's 16 MHz 
SXs on PC Labs computer 
benchmark tests." 

Matt Ross, 

PC Magazine, 9 


"The Ergo Brick— that 
delightfully small, full- 
featured 386SX™ machine. 
It's almost silent. It's fast... 
a great personal computer 
in every other respect too." 

Bill Machrone, 

PC Magazine, 1/15/91 

"The Brick is the first real 
innovation in DOS based 
computers in a long, long 

Computer Shopper, 


"The philosophy behind the 
Brick is so obvious that I'm 
surprised that no one has 
thought of it 
can keep a monitor and a 
keyboard at each work 
location, carrying only the 
computer guts (and your 
own data) between loca- 
tions. a world of boring 
and utilitarian PCs, the 
Brick stands out for both its 
elegance and its technologi- 
cal sophistication." 

Stan Miastkowski, 
BYTE. 6/90 



"The ''"'^^^^^ 
Brick Is a 

simple idea that is beauti- 
fully executed, resulting in a 
machine whose time has 
clearly come. You get the 
convenience of a laptop 
with the uncompromising 
performance of 
a desktop." 

Jon Pepper, 
PC Sources, 


"An ideal 
system for 
those who split 
their working 
time between 
home and 
office.. .The 
stylish "black 
granite" and beige cases 
look as if they came straight 
from the pages of a Sharper 
Image catalog." 

PC Week, 9/24/90 

"The Brick is first 
class all the way. Its 
appearance and feel 
suggest even higher 
quality than that of 
the Toshiba and 
„v....paq... This system 
provides an amazing 
amount of features and 
support for the price." 

Peter Varhol, 

Personal Workstation 


Hi-res video drivers are included for over 25 major applications 
including Windows 3.0, WordPerfect, Ventura, AutoCad, Cadkey, 
and Lotus. The Docking Terminal ($349) permits instant hook- 
up of all cables and adds another 16-bit 3/4 length slot. 

"...everyone who sees it 
falls in love with it... 

Jerry Pournelle, 
BYTE, 1/91 


One Intercontinental Way 
Peabody MA 01960 

TEL: (508) 535-7510 
FAX: (508) 535-7512 

C O 

"Using the Brick is a 
pleasure. In fact, several 
things about the Brick are 
terrific. By any standard 
it's a well equipped and 
competitively priced 386SX 
desktop; when you add the 
appeal of its diminutive 
size, it becomes adorable." 

Eric Grevstad, 
Portable Office, 7^/50 

"The beauty of this 
arrangement is that 
you never have to 
worry about the 
consistency of your 
data files... you just 
take it all with you." 

Henry Fersko-Weiss, 
PC Magazine,.?/d; 

"Only slightly larger 
and heavier than a 
college dictionary, the 
Brick is a faux-granite- 
finished portable CPU that 
explores the middle ground 
between desktop PCs and 
portable computers." 

Fred Paul, 



A 16 MHz Intel 386SX 
A 4 MB RAM (exp to 8 MB) 
A 44 MB 28ms hard disk 
A 2,400 bps modem 

A 1024 x 768 VGA adapter 

with 1 MB video RAM 
A 3.5" floppy/1.44 MB 
A 16-bit half card exp. slot 
A DOS 3.3 or 4.01 
A 1 year warranty 
A 30 day money back guarantee 
A Freight Prepaid 
Plus Your Choice of: 

A Windows 3.0 with 
Adobe ATM, Mouse 

A DESQview/386 with QEMM, 
Manifest, Tree86, Cache86 

A All software completely set up. 
Ready to go 


A 104 MB 24ms HD 
A 212 MB 16ms HD 
A 20 MHz Brick 
A 8 MB total RAM 
A 387SX Coprocessor 
16 MHz 
20 MHz 
A 12" 640 x 480 mono 

VGA monitors 101 

A 14" 640x480 color 

VGA monitor & 101 

A Color coordinated VGA 

monitor & keyboard, 

as shown add $195 

- Docking Terminal add $349 

add $395 
add $995 
add $250 
add $396 

add $395 
add $445 

add $218 

add $464 

For further information 
or to request our FREE Catalog 


I N 


Or to receive information via FAX, 24 fiours. 

Circle 109 on Inquiry Card. 



Zenith 486/TIGA Combo Packs Plentiful Processing Power 

ith many of today's 
newest i486-based 
computer systems being built 
and marketed as network file 
servers , it ' s easy to feel left out 
if you're an individual user 
who needs cutting-edge pro- 
cessing power for heavy-duty 
number crunching or serious 
graphics work. With the Z- 
486/25E from Zenith Data 
Systems (ZDS) on your desk, 
you won't feel left out. 

The high-end Model 170 
that I tested can only be char- 
acterized as a serious worksta- 
tion for serious work indeed. 
As its name implies, the Z- 
486/25E is based on a 25-MHz 
i486. The E stands for EISA, 
and three open EISA slots are 
ready and waiting for future 

The Model 170 has a 170- 
megabyte Intelligent Drive 
Electronics (IDE) hard disk 
drive. Matching the speed of 
the system, the drive sported a 
fleet 19.7-millisecond access 
time running the BYTE disk 

But the speed and power 
don't stop there; the Model 
170 also has a Texas Instru- 
ments Graphics Architecture 
(TIGA) video board that is 
based on TI's potent 60-MHz 
34010 graphics processor. To 
say that it makes a difference 
in graphics speed is an under- 
statement. The34010takesall 
the graphics processing away 
from the system CPU, result- 
ing in BYTE video bench- 
marks that were SVi times 
faster than a comparable VGA- 
based system. 

More and more common ap- 
plications are supporting the 
TIGA standard, and TIGA- 
product manufacturers are 
also supplying drivers for 
other applications. ZDS sup- 
plies several drivers with the 
Z-486/25E, including a high- 
resolution driver for Microsoft 
Windows 3.0. Couple it with 
ZDS's new ZCM-1650 16- 
inch high-resolution monitor, 
and you end up with a Win- 

dows 3.0 desktop with a reso- 
lution of 1024 by 768 pixels. 
And because it's a noninter- 
laced image, it's rock-steady. 
Windows 3.0 is an entirely 
new and eminently useful tool 
when you couple this resolu- 
tion with the speed of the 
graphics board and the CPU 
power. There's virtually no 
waiting; things appear to hap- 
pen instantaneously. 

Plunking the humongous 
ZCM-1650 monitor on top of 
the system unit results in an in- 
terestingly incongruous juxta- 
position. The Z-486/25E's 
case is surprisingly small, 
with a paltry 14- by 15-inch 
footprint, and it'sjust 6 inches 

high. I expected to find the 
case packed with equipment 
and cables, but it wasn't. The 
system unit has lots of free 
space on the inside. It's a tri- 
umph of careful design and 
mechanical engineering. The 
64-bit memory board (which 
uses a proprietary slot) can 
take up to 16 single in-line 
memory modules without 
cramping. If you use 4-MB 
SIMMs, you can have a desk- 
top PC with 64 MB of RAM— 
a true workstation. 

There's even room inside 
the case to slip in an extra half- 
height 5 '4 -inch floppy disk 
drive. The Z-486/25E comes 
standard with a 3 '/2-inch 1 .44- 


with 170-MB hard disk 
drive and TIGA card, 
$9999; with 80-MB hard 
disk drive and VGA card, 

Zenith Data Systems 

2150 East Lake Cook Rd. 

Buffalo Grove, IL 60089 


(708) 808-5000 

Circle 1 1 66 on Inquiry Card . 

MB floppy disk drive, and you 
can fill that extra space with a 
5 W -inch 1 . 2-MB drive, an ad- 
ditional hard disk drive, or 
ZDS's pricey ($1299) 150- 
MB SCSI tape backup unit. 
The SCSI controller is already 
on the controller board, along 
with the floppy disk drive and 
IDE circuitry. There's even a 
SCSI socket on the rear of the 
computer's case for hooking 
up external SCSI devices 
(e.g., a CD-ROM drive). 

From all its features, it' s not 
difficult to see that the Z- 
486/25E is a system that's de- 
signed to not become quickly 
obsolete. That's especially 
true of the unit's EISA expan- 
sion capabilities. Neither of 
the two included boards takes 
advantage of EISA's bus-mas- 
tering capabilities and 33- 
MHz bandwidth. And you'll 
pay a hefty premium for hav- 
ing the "EISAbility. " 

Make no mistake: This is 
not a low-priced clone. The 
top-of-the-line Model 170 the 
I tested, complete with the 16- 
inch monitor, tips the price 
scales. It retails for $1 1 ,998. 

For smaller budgets, the 
Model 80 has an 80-MB hard 
disk drive and a VGA (instead 
of TIGA) board. At a retail 
price of $8599, it's still costly, 
and you'll still need a monitor. 
(The TIGA board is available 
by itself for $899.) 

ZDS system's are superbly 
engineered and ruggedly built 
for full-time work on critical 
projects. And the finely tuned 
combination of components in 
the Model 170 results in a sys- 
tem that delivers every last 
ounce of performance. Obvi- 
ously, not everyone needs this 
type of system. It's overkill for 
day-to-day, mundane word 
processing or telecommunica- 
tions applications. But it's all 
too easy to become accus- 
tomed to this system designed 
for the ultimate power user. I 
certainly wished that I had a 
real reason to keep it. 

—Stan Miastkowski 

54 BYTE • MAY 1991 



The ELEX Electronic Filing System 
(EEF) is a hardware/software sys- 
tem designed to reduce the fright- 
ening volumes of paperwork that 
burden businesses on a daily basis. 
As paper is eliminated, transactions 
are made in a fraction of the time 
required by traditional means, costly 
storage facilities are reduced, data 
security and integrity is enhanced, 
and work quality and quantity is 
increased. These factors all give 
companies and individuals the com- 
petitive advantage they need to ex- 
cel in the business environment of 
the 90's. 

Filing vs. Archiving 

Document image processing is a 
new technology which has just be- 
gun to evolve. The myriad of hard- 
ware devices on the market, and the 
lack of an industry standard proto- 
col for communicating between 
them, make the integration of an 
electronic filing system a formidable 
task. And without intelligent soft- 
ware to control all aspects of the 
storage, management, and retrieval 
of documents, the filing system will 
be nothing more than a micro-fiche 
machine in disguise. 

With these considerations in mind, 
EEF was designed as a turn-key so- 
lution which relieves the clients of 
all the intricacies involved in inte- 
grating a truly functional electronic 
filing system. Yet its flexible design 
allows continuous and smooth up- 
grade as the users needs grow and 

Open Architecture 

EEF is designed as a totally open 
architecture system. Rather than 
being a closed package, EEF is com- 
posed of individual building blocks 
defined by their area of electronic 

filing functionality. These blocks are sketches, etc 
not bound to specific hardware/ 
software limitations. As such, they 
can be combined in a variety of 
forms on each of the following op- 
erating platforms, to achieve opti- 
mal satisfaction of an application's 
specific demands: 

9 A single user workstation under 
the DOS or the OS/2 operating 

9 A local area network - Novell 
NetWare 286 and higher or any 
DOS 3.1 compatible network. 

• A host computer under the 

400 system with a PC connection. 


Si-nnner, l-'ox, Word Tnncssinf.;, 
I Computer, lite. 


Doiiinu-nt Mdiiagm-, Rolricval 
l-;nf;int;, i lyper-Mediii, Dnt.ibjsc; 
Application Ck'norator, riirii-key 


I'rintfi-, I'lotter, [ligh Rot.. l.")i.splny, 
E-cix, I Tosl Computer 

EEF Applications 

The EEF system opens a vast new 
world of opportunities for you. The 
possible applications are limitless, 
and to name a few: 

Management Systems 

Any application which requires 
original documents and forms (e.g. 
verification of signatures and L/C 
in the banking area). 

Scientific and Engineering Data 

Any application in these fields 
that requires maps, charts, logs. 

Medical Uses 

The kind of visual information 
which is so essential for medical ap- 
plications is handled by EEF in a 
natural, straightforward manner. 
Art Catalogs 

Making multi/media presentations 
of art works, for example at auc- 
tions, can provide an exciting new 
display method. 

Real Estate I Travel Agency 

EEF can be used to take the custom- 
ers on an on-site electronic tour 
without ever leaving the office, thus 
shortening the process of selection. 

EEF Pilot System 

For prospective clients wishing to 
enter the field, we have prepared a 
pilot system, enclosing in one pack- 
age the full range of functions nec- 
essary for electronic filing. The sys- 
tem components are: 


386 base micro-computer at 33MHz 
with 64K cache, 8 MB RAM, L2GB 
with access time of 0.8MS (disk cach- 
ing), proprietary scanner and printer 
interfaces, high resolution (1660 x 
1200) CRT display, laser printer 300 
dpi at 8 ppm, scanner 300 dpi with 
100 page feeder. 


The EEF software package, includ- 
ing the document manager, the 
retrieval engine, the hypermedia 
interface, and 20 hours of customi- 
zation services. 

Total cost for the pilot system is 
30,000 US$. 

For further details and literature, 
please contact: 

65, Rue de Lausanne 1202 Geneva Switzerland Tel. + 41 22 738 11 88 Fax. + 41 22 738 11 90 

125-127 North 4th Street Philadelphia, PA 19106 USA Tel. + 1 215 627 7202 Fax. = 1 215 627 2342. 

Trademarks: DOS, OS/2, Microsoft Corp; NetWare, Novell, Inc.; UNIX, SCO Corp; AS/iOO, IBM Corp; VAX/VMS, Digital Equip. Corp. 

Circle 107 on Inquiry Card. 


Borland Hopes 
to Make Forms Exciting 

1 ne of the most mundane 
items in any office is a 
form. And few things are so 
tiresome as finding the right 
one, filling it out, and process- 
ing it. Software for dealing 
with forms is a big improve- 
ment—especially for forms 
processing. Now, Borland In- 
ternational has come out with 
a program that may make de- 
signing and filling out forms 
almost exciting. 

The new ObjectVision is a 
Windows program that goes 
beyond most forms packages. 
Being a Windows program, it 
naturally includes some good 
graphics capabilities. These 
let you create a large variety of 
forms, including a good rep- 
lica of an IRS 1040 tax form. 
ObjectVision can also func- 
tion somewhat like a spread- 
sheet because each field in a 
form can contain a spread- 
sheet-compatible formula. 
And it includes a Paradox- 
compatible database manager, 
which means that you can ac- 
cess ObjectVision data by 
using Paradox or any of Bor- 
land 's Paradox-compatible 

The most exciting aspect of 
ObjectVision is its ability to 
do visual programming. For 
each field in a form, you can 
create a graphical decision 
tree. Such a tree is much easier 
to design, debug, and main- 

ith smaller and faster 
battery-powered sys- 
tems taking to the road, busy 
writers and executives have 
the need for a variety of porta- 
ble peripherals. I looked at 
two recently released portable 
printers and was not surprised 
to find that you get what you 
pay for. The laser-compatible 

56 BYTE- MAY 1991 

tain than a standard spread- 
sheet formula. 

The best way to illustrate 
such a decision tree is with an 
example. Say you are con- 
structing an order form that 
will automatically determine 
the credit terms for an order. 
You can set up a credit terms 
field that will contain a deci- 
sion tree. The first branch 
point will be whether it's a 
new customer or not (ascer- 
tained by checking a new cus- 
tomer check box on the form) . 
If the customer is new , the next 
branch point may be the cus- 
tomer's credit rating (ascer- 
tained from the credit rating 
field). If the credit rating is 
poor, the end result of that 
branch may be to set credit 
terms at 100 percent down 
(i.e., the customer has to pay 
in full up front). The other 
branches may set up different 
credit terms. One branch may 
even require the user to fill out 
an additional form. 

The process for creating de- 
cision trees takes some time to 
get used to, but, once mas- 
tered, this capability lets you 
create and modify trees with 
relative ease. Even an ex- 
tremely complex tree can be 
deciphered fairly easily. 

This new forms package is 
interesting, but it may have a 
slight problem with certain 
types of forms. For example. 

Qllltm Exininct Redlltie 


_ Raliiti O nic f tCuriip lplHl _ 

muyi Widget 

Ifrf f! H. Division 

ItcnH Manf.ii;! urlmi 

21 llaln Strcfl 

finijtcuiii, nft 'unm 





Borland International, Inc. 
1800 Green Hills Rd. 

P.O. Box 660001 
Scotts Valley, CA 95066 
(408) 438-8400 
fax: (408) 439-9344 
Circle 1 1 67 on Inquiry Card . 

an order form, such as that 
used by a waiter, may have a 
table of blank fields that can be 
filled in with any of several 
item names, quantities, and 
prices. In ObjectVision, it is 
awkward to enter data in such 
a table because the program 
will lead the user to each of the 
many blank fields. 

ObjectVision has a list price 
of $495. But if Borland tradi- 
tion holds, and you already 
own other Borland products, 
you will probably receive an 
offer with a greatly reduced 

price. The program also in- 
cludes a run-time module that 
lets developers distribute run- 
time versions of their forms 
for free. 

Borland's forms program is 
a bold new variation on a mun- 
dane theme. Tests performed 
on an early version of the pro- 
gram suggest it is not only bold 
but successful. And if you're 
developing Windows applica- 
tions for in-house use, Object- 
Vision will probably be essen- 
tial as well. 

—Rich Malloy 

Portable Printing: 
From the Practical to the Elegant 

Mannesmann Tally MT735 
300-dot-per-inch thermal 
page printer tops the high end, 
while the 24-pin dot-matrix 
Seikosha LT-20 is about one- 
third the price— but one-third 
theprinter, aswell. 

Mannesmann Tally is call- 
ing the MT735 the first porta- 
ble 300-dpi thermal page 

printer. But whether it's first 
or not, what is most impressive 
about this little printer is its 
speed, print quality, and por- 
tability—all in one. 

The MT735 produces laser- 
quality text and graphics at up 
to 6 pages per minute at 300 by 
300 dpi. It weighs about 8 
pounds and measures 1 1 Vi by 

8% by 2 '/a inches. It comes 
with a built-in 80-page sheet 
feeder, a built-in 150-page- 
capacity rechargeable battery 
(and charger), and 1 megabyte 
of memory for full-page 
graphics . The printer can han- 
dle normal photocopier paper 
and transparencies. However, 
for high-quality graphics. 













Here's a chance to buy our ^99 Math Coprocessor 

at no risk whatsoever! It's fully guaranteed 

to at least double the math performance of your software. 

If you want to unlock the full power of your PC, pick up the phone and 
order an AMD 80G287 math coprocessor. Without it, your PC just isn't 
really complete. You see, our math coprocessor cm dramatically 
increase the performance of 1-2-3,® dBASE,® Excel, and hundreds of 
your other favorite business applications! It actually runs calculations 
two to ten times faster than your PC can without a math coprocessor 
Which means your graphs will draw incredibly fast and your spreadsheets 
will recalculate at truly blazing speeds. (And that's just for starters!) 

High speed at a low price. 

Don't think you have to pay over $200 for a math coprocessor. Now you 
can get ours for just $99 when you order direct from AIVID! The AMD 
80C287 is fully compatible with your 80286-based PC and the hundreds 
of commercially available software packages written for it. Our 
coprocessor is also compatible with the Intel NMOS 80287. 

Installation is a snap. 

The AMD 80C287 plugs easily into a socket that's already inside your 
80286-based PC. In fact, you can be up and running in just five 
minutes. Simply plug the chip into the socket and watch the dazzling 
improvement in performance! The AMD 80C287 comes with easy-to- 
follow installation instructions, a free utilities disk (which includes 
diagnostics and test software) , and free color computer games. 

Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. 

9020-11 Capital of Texas Hwy N., Suite 400 
Austin, TX 78759-9797 

Volume or dealer Inquiries welcome. 1-2-3 is a registered trademark of Lotus Development Corporation. 
dBASE is a trademark of Ashton-Tate Corporation. Intel is a registered trademark of Intel Coiporation. 

Circle 20 on Inquiry Card . 



(iiiarantoi- Ihc .\.Mn KdCiS" (locsn'l dii cvcrylliiiiK m' iiriiniisi-. or 
ifwHi arc iiiisali'^lii'd Inr .iny i'(",i.siiii. rcliirn iIk- pi'iidiici uilliin .H) Ajya nf 
piircliasi' and .\.MI) ulli liappil) ri'fiMid mut inoiu'v 
<iuaraiilci' #i: If voiir SOCiS" Math (:<)prl)a'.^Sllr ever fails lo 
piMTiirni fur any n-Min, .\MI) ^\ill ivpliict' it hvc (if i\mf\: nii ipii'Mion.'i 
asked. I.iniili'd tii iwn lifi'tinic rcphiivinciils per piTscm. 
(iiiai-iiiiti-i- #i: AMI) !;uaraiiii'i's thai the .AMI) m'lH' is fidly ((unpaiihli' 
Willi yiinr S()'d liarduaiv and sufluari'. If yun liavi- aiiv 
cninpatihilily prohli'nis with ilio AMI) SDC^N" dininj; I 
fir.^t year, rclnrii tlii' product and nc will gladly ivliiiid t 
pnri'liasi' priiv. 

I'T '"-n r.Tl L"."! 

Outside of USA call (512) 345-1728 

D Yes. I want to double or triple the calculation speed of software running on my 
286-based PC. Send me an AMD 80C287 Math Coprocessor, risk free, for only $99 
plus tax, shipping and handling. 1 understand that I can return the AMD 80C287 for 
a full refund within the first 30 days if I am not completely satisfied. 





Type of PC 


Mannesmann Tally suggests 
laser-quality paper. 

The four resident fonts in- 
clude Courier, Helvetica, 
Times Roman, and Math in 
various sizes. The printer also 
accepts downloaded fonts in 
Hewlett-Packard Series II La- 
serJet format. The MT735 can 
print in both portrait and land- 
scape modes, accepts up to 
legal-size paper, and emulates 
the HP Series II LaserJet, 
DeskJet, IBM Proprinter 
X24, and Epson LQ-850. A 
copy feature stores the last 
page printed in memory and 
lets you make multiple copies . 

Seikosha's LT-20 is called a 
laptop printer because it has 
been designed to fit under 
your laptop. It's also a cut- 
sheet printer and prints 100 
pages on a single nickel-cad- 
mium battery charge. It 
weighs about 5 pounds and 
measures WA by 11 '/s by 2 
inches. It comes with an AC 
adapter with optional 12- and 
24-volt adapters, so you can 
run it from a cigarette lighter. 

The LT-20 has one built-in 
font (Courier) . You can add an 
optional font ROM with eight 
other fonts. In graphics reso- 
lution, the LT-20 does 360 by 

180 dpi and prints at 10, 12, 
and 15 characters per inch. Its 
cut-sheet feeder handles up to 
letter-size paper. Unlike the 
MT735's four standard emu- 
lations, the LT-20 emulates 
just the IBM Proprinter X24. 

These two printers do an 
admirable job printing basic 
text. The MT735 is far superi- 
or in printing graphics , both in 
speed and print quality (com- 
pare about 0.6 ppm on the LT- 
20 to the MT735's 6 ppm). 
The LT-20 is priced for a sys- 
tem on the go, and it is, after 
all, essentially a dot-matrix 
printer housed in a unique 
package. Its sleek design 
makes it both attractive and 
useful, and it prints well 
enough to compete with the 
Canon, Kodak, and Toshiba 
portables in the same price 

The MT735, on the other 
hand, would have to earn its 
keep by running as a full-time 
office printer as well as a print 
machine for the road. I found 
it sophisticated enough to suit 
my everyday printing needs, 
and its light weight and battery 
power only make it that much 
more appealing. 

—Anne Fischer Lent 



Mannesmann Tally Corp. 
8301 South 180th St. 
Kent, WA 98032 
(800) 843-1347 
(206) 251-5500 
fax: (206) 251-5520 
Circle 11 68 on inquiry Card. 



Seikosha America, Inc. 
10 Industrial Ave. 
Mahwah, NJ 07430 
(800) 338-2609 
(201) 327-7227 
fax: (201) 818-9075 
Circle 1 169 on inquiry Card. 

Animating Down tlie Lin@ 
witli Infini-D 

Anew modeling, render- 
ing, and animation pro- 
gram called Infini-D opens 
the door to a three-dimen- 
sional world that, once you 
enter, you won't want to leave. 
The program provides a vari- 
ety of tools for creating wire- 
frame models. It also lets you 
apply surface textures, light, 
and reflection to the models 
with proprietary rendering, 
and you can animate the im- 
ages through an intuitive and 
powerful sequencer. 

When you launch Infini-D, 
you see four view windows- 
top, front, right, and cam- 
era—which together provide a 
scene through which you view 
, the 3-D world. If you like, you 
can look at the scene through 
back, left, or bottom views. 

But whatever one you choose, 
when you change an object in 
one view, the program pro- 
vides immediate visual feed- 
back in the others. 

Unless you have already 
created a wireframe model in 
AutoCAD, the first step is to 
create a 3-D object. Infini-D 
provides six building blocks 
(e.g., cube, cone, and cylin- 
der) called generic primitives. 
To place a primitive in the 3-D 
world, you click on its icon in 
the tool palette and then click 
once in any open window. 
Each view window shows the 
generic primitive from a dif- 
ferent point of view. 

The primitive tools provide 
a quick way to build basic 
models. Three other tools- 
lathe, extrude, and free- 

S8 BYTE* MAY 1991 

This is what the 
world's most powerfijl486 
system looks like. 

Circle 1 1 1 on Inquiry Card. 

( \liii<li Kill pin iiiitl 
tumbler locks keep 
inuiiiilii'i I I il linui I \ 
out of the hardware. 
{And your data is 
equally safe, because 
we've built password 
protection into the 

I IMS, I \iic\ I hi I mat \liiniii;cinenl .Swioii, 
niiikc^ this till III N/c/ii III sulu ilir hii;h li nipci - 
nunc and li km d u hiibilit\ pmhli /»s n/ 1 inn nl 
iindliiinii pii'i f MCM .\ pni litiiiii sipauili \ the cube 
into two compartments, independently cooled by 
Snhutlaiis. Oni i onlinns the CIT one tin thnf-. 
liaffles funnel cool air where it's most needed. Even 
^the power supply is cool, because at 400 watts, it 
runsxtt a fraction ofits capacity. 

loi insunu 
II Inch 11 (''// 
/)/ (//!,' \f);( 
IIS new ti cli- 
eniei "c 

AU the fidl-length expansion slotsyou'll everneedT 
12 altogether, including 10 EISA slots. 

The entire 


of the cube is 


in .seconds 





AMMA, a 2.56KB write- 
back eaclmg architec- 
ture, forming - " wo-tier " 
caching in combination 
with the 486 chip's 8KB 
internal cache. It improves 
the cache hit ratio from : 
90%toasmuch as 99%. - 

SpaceforfoiirqidckreleasB, half-height drives,They're: 
front accessible, behind a hydraitlically dampened _ 
door— which makes sure your drive heads are reading 
disks and tapes, not dust, smoke and humidit}'. / : 

The 486/33 CPU chip, Inteli: 
hottest. But when hotter ch ips 
come around, the cube will be 
cool enough to handle them . ■ - 
And that includes 

Quick drive bays 
accommodate up to eight 
more drives that can be 
swapped out in less than 

The world's most 
powerM response card. 

Just by filling out this card, you can get a free application guide to the world's most powerful 486 
system, as well as information about a wealth of other equally high-performance Eveiiex products. 

□ Please send me a free STEPMegacube application guide. 


I am also interested in the following Everex products; 

□ 486 systems □ PC peripherals 

□ 386 systems □ Macintosh peripherals 

□ 386SX systems □ UNIX operating systems 

□ 286 systems □ Networking products 


_ VAR Dealer End User. 




EVEH till EXce:!e 





Everex Systems, Inc. 

48431 Milmont Drive, Bl-1 

Attn: Telemarketing Response Center 

Fremont, CA 94538-9828 

And this is 

Conventional system design can't cope 
anymore. The emerging technology is just 
too hot for it. 

Enter the STEP Megacubd" Redesigned 
from the ground up, the STEP Megacube 
is a 486™ system unlike any other. 
It incorporates ideas from the 
mainframe world, such as its 
caching architecture and thermal manage- 
ment. And it has performance and features 
that make it a perfect fileserver. Or a per- 
fect multiuser system. Or a perfect graphics 

A 486/33 CPU combined with Everex's 
proprietary Advanced Memory Manage- 
ment Architecture (AMMA™) gives it warp 
speed— 21.7 MIPS. Space for twelve drives 
gives it storage that will remind you of the 
Library of Congress. And twelve expansion 
slots give it more expandability than you 
can shake a peripheral at. 

And if it happens to be an Everex™ 
peripheral, you could get a nice perfor- 
mance bonus. Because Everex graphics, 
networking and controller boards are 
designed to take full advantage of our STEP™ 
architecture for even better performance. 

Combine all this with up to 64 MB of 
RAM— enough for the most demanding 
applications— and you wind up with a com- 
puter that can be configured for anything. 
Even the future. 

You see, the design breakthroughs of 

the STEP Megacube eliminate the upgrada- 
bility problems inherent in other systems. 
Which means that when the next generation 
processors arrive— like the 50MHz486,just 
down the road— all you have to do is swap 
out motherboards. No space problems. No 
overheating problems. 
No obsolescence. 

Performance-wise, this is a machine that 
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sight to the STEP Megacube's upgrada- 
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Everex STEP Megacube 

Dell System 43; 


But really, that shouldn't be much of a 
surprise. After all, at Everex, our mandate is 
'Always innovate, never compromise!' And 
that's exactly the approach we took when we 
built the STEP Megacube. 

Granted it doesn't look like your typical 
486 system. Fortunately, it doesn't perform 
like one either. To find out more about what 
it can do, give us a call. 

For afi-ee copy of the STEP Megacube Application Guide, call: 


Introducing the STEP Megacube. 

BVEH lor EXcellsncf^' 

I. . ,r.dcm.,l of NMB Tcchnologle. J„c. B.„cbm.,k ,,,.liU,om Inidllgenl Dm„s Co>,o,.,lo,-, HlghT«, B„chm.,klne So(,»„. H,r mo„ i. 


Circle 1 12 on Inquiry Card. 


form— let you create much 
more complex models . I found 
the first two quite easy to use. 
It takes some practice to mas- 
ter the free-form tool. 

When you create complex 
models, it's best to think of 
them as collections of basic 
objects. If you want to model 
an adjustable chair, think of it 
as a collection of seat, stem, 
wheel, and back objects, each 
of which has a relationship to 
the others. Infini-D lets you 
establish hierarchical links 
between the basic chair ob- 
jects, so that if you pull at the 
seat, the rest of the chair fol- 
lows. By establishing parent- 
child relationships between 
the objects and applying con- 
straints to their motion, you 
can create model s that move as 
they would in the real world. 

Infini-D lets you animate 
any object: models, terrains, 
light sources, and the camera. 
Unlike other animation pro- 
grams that use the key-frame 
technique (where you draw a 

starting position and an end 
position, and the program cal- 
culates the intermediate posi- 
tions), Infini-D takes a differ- 
ent approach. The program's 
animation sequencer tracks 
events for each object. An 
event occurs each time you 
change the position, orienta- 
tion, or other characteristic of 
an object. 

Infini-D tracks every event 
for each object on an individ- 
ual timeline. Every object has 



Minimum: Mac II with 
System 6.0.4, 32-Bit 
QuickDraw, 4 megabytes of 
RAM, an 8-bit video card, 
and a hard disk drive. 
Recommended: Mac Ilfx 
with System 6.0.5, 32-Bit 

its own time line. Every time 
line shows a complete history 
for each object. This approach 
has a number of advantages in 
animating a scene. 

Most important, the se- 
quencer lets you easily manip- 
ulate events in the animation 
for individual objects. If you 
are animating a runner and 
you don't like the position of 
the arm in the second frame, 
you simply change the position 
of the arm object at that point 

QuickDraw, 8 MB of 
RAM, a 24-bit video card, 
and a hard disk drive. 

Specular International 
233 North Pleasant St. 
P.O. Box 888 
Amherst, MA 01004 
(413) 549-7600 
fax: (413) 549-1531 
Circle 1 1 70 on Inquiry Card . 

on the timeline. 

The sequencer lets you eas- 
ily change events in the anima- 
tion and adds nice touches for 
creating inertial effects with 
the Ease-In and Ease-Out 
functions. Although the pro- 
gram's modeling and render- 
ing capabilities are notewor- 
thy, I believe the animation 
portion is its real strength. 

My only complaint with the 
program is that it doesn't yet 
include a real-time animation 
player. To see your animation 
play at regular speed (you can 
see it play only in slow motion 
in the sequencer), you'd have 
to export the animation as a 
PICS file to another appli- 

You need time to become 
oriented when you're working 
in the 3-D world. Although the 
program offers tear-off pal- 
ettes for displaying the x, y, 
and z boundary parameters of 
an object, tick marks showing 
the three axes would help. 

—Dave Andrews 

Artwork Qets Easier with an Improved FreeHanei 

Aldus FreeHand is one of 
two major object-based 
drawing applications for the 
Mac. With the release of Illus- 
trator 3.0 from Adobe, Aldus 
has countered with improve- 
ments to FreeHand. If my 
glimpse of the beta Aldus 
FreeHand 3.0 is any indica- 
tion, it will easily hold its own 
in the drawing arena with its 
new features and user-inter- 
face enhancements, including 
several types of built-in ar- 
rowheads for use with lines, 
better control of text align- 
ment to lines or curves (espe- 
cially ellipses), and the ability 
to import, display, and print 
24-bit TIFF images. 

FreeHand can create and 
manipulate composite paths 
(i.e., objects that have open- 
ings or holes in them so that 
background objects can show 
through). For example, in an 
aircraft drawing, the canopy 

could be drawn as a composite 
path to allow cockpit details to 
show. Text that uses either 
PostScript Type 1 or Type 3 
outline fonts can be converted 
to composite paths, making 
sophisticated text shading and 

overlays possible. 

A strength of FreeHand is 
its layers feature, which ar- 
ranges the order of appearance 
of a drawing's elements. Free- 
Hand 2.0 was limited to 200 
foreground (printing) layers 

and one background (non- 
printing) layer; in FreeHand 
3.0, the number of layers is 
limited only by memory. 

FreeHand's tool palette 
sports three new tools: a trac- 
ing tool (which can generate 

Aldus FreeHand 3.0 


Mac Plus or higher with 
2MB of RAM and a hard 
disk drive; 4 MB of RAM 
is recommended. 

Aldus Corp. 
411 First Ave. S 
Seattle, WA 98104 
(206) 622-5500 
fax: (206) 343-4240 
Circle 11 71 on Inquiry Card. 

62 B YTE • MAY 1991 

Free i860™ Processor and i860/APX Software! 

By now, you've probably heard about our industry-first 
4860™ MotherBoard that packs the power of the Intel 
80486 CPU with the Intel 80860 RISC processor 
0486™+ 1860=4860). 
What you haven't heard is that, 
for a limited time, when you buy 
a 4860 MotherBoard with 8MB of RAM, 
Hauppauge will give you an i860 RISC 
processor and the i860/APX operating 
system at no additional cost. 
Why give you this capability? Because 
you'll enjoy a level of processor perform- 
ance never before seen in a PC. Our bet 
is that you'll be so im])ressed, you'll 
come back for more! 
A PC Revolution: In the PC environment, 
the 4860 is a 486 -based MotherBoard with the new 
EISA I/O bus. It runs over 2 times faster than 386 com- 
puters and delivers mainframe power for applications 
including CAD, LAN and desktop publishing. This board 
is fully compatible with DOS, IBM's OS/2, Novell 
Netware and SCO UNIX. What's more, Hauppauge's 
4860 supports up to 64 MBytes of memory ivithoutu 
RAM expansion board. 

RISC-Y Business: The i860 processor is ideal in com- 
plex applications, performing up to 25 million floating- 
point operations per second. It adds to the power 
of the 486, so you can run rings around ordinary PCs. 

By adapting Intel's APX (Attached Processor Executive) 
software to our 4860 MotherBoard, we've created 
a way to exploit the power of the i860 to give 
you practical multiprocessing. In fact, i860/APX 

provides a base for entirely new appU — 
cations made possible by the advent 
of the i860 RISC processor. 

Technical Features: 25 or 33MHZ 
486/860 ■ 4 Mbytes of high speed 
RAM expandable to 64 Mbytes shared 
between i486 and i860 processors 
■ Socket for optional Intel Hirbo Cache 
485™and Weitek 4l67 ■ 7 EISA I/O 
slots " 64 -bit expansion slot for 
optional high-speed graphic frame 
buffer " 1 parallel, 2 serial ports and 
a built-in PS/2 -style mouse port. 
Enjoy a RISC-free investment. Our 4860 MotherBoard 
is designed with the world's highest performing 
microprocessors. So you can have the world's highest 
performing PCs and workstations. 

For more information, call 1-800-443-6284. 

Hauppauge Computer Works, Inc. 
91 Caliot Court 

Hauppauge, NewYork U788 tlSlWMJfl^MQ! 

Telephone: 5l6-434-l600 

Fax; 516-434-3198 

In Europe (49) 2161-17063 " 

InAustralia; (7) 262-3122 Ax'ailable at your local computer dealer. 

Trademarks; OS/2: IBM ■ Intel 386, i486, i860 and Ibrbo Cache 485™: Intel Corp. ■ DOS andXenix: Microsoft Corp. • 4860, 4860 MotherBoard: Hauppauge 

Circle 1 39 on Inquiry Card. 


paths from the edges of a high- 
contrast scan), a knife tool (to 
cut lines or curves into two 
separate paths), and a magni- 
fying tool (to zoom into or out 
of a point of interest on the 

FreeHand's enhanced in- 
terface lets you manage com- 
plex drawings easily. Three 
new palettes— colors, layers, 
and styles— provide quick ac- 
cess to an element ' s attributes . 
Each palette lets you modify 
the element's attributes on- 
screen without having to move 
around in the menu bar. 

The colors palette uses 
small swatches of colors to 
show an element's actual fill 
and line colors . The layers pal- 
ette shows what layer the ele- 
ment belongs to , and it lets you 
add and rearrange layers by 
simply clicking and dragging. 
The styles palette shows what 

colors, shading, and patterns 
are used to fill the element, al- 
though you must open a dialog 
box to view the actual colors. 
These three palettes conve- 
niently display the fills, col- 
ors, and layer of each element 
as you select it with the mouse . 

I used FreeHand 3.0 on a 
Mac Ilci with 8 megabytes of 
RAM and equipped with an 
AppleColor 13-inch monitor 
and a SuperMac Technology 
19-inch monitor; I also used it 
on a Mac Plus with 2 MB of 
RAM and an HD-20 hard disk 
drive. Both computers ran 
System 6.0.5. 

On the Ilci, color blends dis- 
played superbly at 24-bit 
screen depths. FreeHand ca- 
pably handled multiple 
screens: I could place the pal- 
ettes on the smaller monitor 
while expanding the drawing 
full-size on the larger moni- 

tor. I was able to import a 24- 
bit color TIFF image created 
by a Sharp JX-100 scanner, 
add text, and print the result. 

As I expected, FreeHand 
was much slower on the Mac 
Plus, especially if it had to dis- 
play colors as dithered pat- 
terns. However, these same 
patterns appear in the colors 
palette, which allows limited 
color work on Macs that have 
black-and-white screens. The 
Mac Plus's performance was 
adequate on less complex 
artwork, but serious drawings 
require a Mac Il-class com- 

I was able to open and edit 
Illustrator 1 . 1 and Illustrator 
88 files with FreeHand 3.0. 
Illustrator 3.0 was able to im- 
port and display FreeHand 
drawings saved as encapsu- 
lated PostScript files, which 
augurs well for sharing infor- 

mation between the two appli- 
cations. FreeHand EPS files 
include Open Prepress Inter- 
face comments, which contain 
descriptive information that's 
used by certain high-end pre- 
press systems. 

Will FreeHand 3.0 eclipse 
Illustrator 3 .0? Not likely, but 
neither will FreeHand lurk in 
its shadow. Illustrator can 
deal with larger amounts of 
text and can generate graphs. 
But FreeHand easily wins 
over Illustrator as the master 
of creating color blends, and 
its layers feature makes com- 
plicated artwork practical. 
Nor should the enhancement 
to FreeHand's interface be 
dismissed casually: It goes a 
long way toward making a 
sophisticated drawing appli- 
cation less intimidating and 
quite usable. Check it out. B 
—Tom Thompson 



286-12MHZ $1,645 

386SX-16MHZ $1,895 

386-2SMHZ $2,195 

386-33MHZ $2,445 

1 1MB RAM 
1.2MB or 1.44MB FD 
42MB hard disk 
Plasma VGA 640x480 screen 
Plasma VGA card 
I Serial and parallel 
1 86-key detachable keyboard 
1 200W power supply 

Fortune 1000 companies, 
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orders welcome 

VGA LAPTOP , , 15 


1 1.44MB floppy drive 

42MB hard disk 

LCD VGA 640x480 Paper 

white LCD 
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I One 16-bit expansion slot 
I One 2400 Baud modem 
I expansion slot 
I Serial and parallel 
I Removable, rechargeable 
I batter Run 150 min. 

Notebook 286-12 $1,595 

Notebook 386SX $1,895 

0=FICi HOlIHa MON SM 8 30 J 10PM PST 

I CRT 286-12MHZ $995 

386SX-16MHZ $1,295 

386-2SMHZ $1,595 

386-33MHZ $1,845 

1 1MB RAM 
1.2MB or 1.44MB FD 
42MB hard disk 28ms 
9"TTL monitor 
I Mono display card 
I Serial and parallel 
1 84-key keyboard 
1 200W power supply 
Color VGA display ...-f$1000 

Carrying Bag -i-$55 

Larger hard drive is available 

All systems come with 2 
years labor + 1 year 

parts warranty. 
Free lifetime toll free 
technical support. 

PCI VGA System 

|286-12MHz $1,045 

386SX-16MHZ $1,345 

386-2SMHZ $1,645 

|386-33MHz $1,895 

1 1MB RAM 

1.2MB and 1.44MB FD 

42MB hard disk 

16 bit VGA card 
1 14" VGA color monitor 
j Serial and parallel and 
I game ports 
1 101-key keyboard 
1 200W power supply 

65MB, lOOMB, 150MB, 

200MB and 320MB 
I HD option 

I Mono System is available 


286-12MHZ $1,275 

386SX-16MHZ $1,525 

386-25!yiHz.. $1,825 

386-33MHZ $2,075 

1 1MB RAM 
1.2MB or 1.44MB FD 
42MB hard disk 
LCD 640x480 screen 
LCD VGA display 
I Serial and parallel 

l-key detachable keyboard 
j 200W power supply 

Price j'ibiec. To i ii i »! j/itliouf Notice 


9MU0Wf.!ttUSA, TEiPLE 

CITY, CA. 91780 

64 BYTE 'MAY 1991 

Circle 236 on Inquiry Card. 


Hot New Pro 
B R L 

• In Stock 

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Visual Application Croation. Quickly. Without any previous 
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• Develui) and run appliciitions in the Windows enviroiimunt. 
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• Direct accnss to Paradox, Btrievu, and dBASE database 
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• "What If ' analysis: Minimal recalculation speeds up 

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Lisvswo NOW: $95 

A Division of Voyager Software Corp 

1 1 63 Shrewsbury Ave., Slirewsbury, N J 07702 


Corporate: 800-422-6507 
(CORSOFT Division) 

International: 908-389-9228 
Customer Service: 908-389-9229 
Canada: 800-445-7899 
Fax: 908-389-9227 

FAXfttera/ 908-389 8173 


Phone Orders 

Mon-Frl 8:30 AM-7 PM EST, Sat 9:30-2:30 
EST. We accept MC,Visa,AMEX. Domestic 
shipments, please add $5 per item for 
shipping/handling by UPS ground. For 
domestic COD shipments, please add $3. 
Rush service available. 

Mali or FAX/ International /POs 

Phone number required with order. 

FAXceiera (908)389-8173 
Call from your FAX telephone, and follow the 
instructions to receive more information on 
the products featured abovel 

Corporate Accounts 

Call CORSOFT, our corporate sales division. 
Ask about volume purchase agreements. 


'ijectto$25 processing charge, 
•jrices subject to change without notice. 



Llo 1 

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Microsoft COBOL 



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Zortech C++ Devel. Ed. 386 



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MS MacroASM 



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Baby Driver 



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Codebase IV 






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graphics-MENU Data Entry 



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Lotus 1-2-33.1 
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Ouattro Pro 



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DIS DOC Professional 
Grasp 4.0 
Hold Everything 
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A Division of 

1163 Shrewsbury 

Voyager Software Corp 

Ave., Shrewsbury, NJ 07702 

Corporate: 800-422-6507 
(CORSOF Division) 

International: 908-389-9228 
Customer Service: 908-389-9229 
Canada: 800-445-7899 
Fax: 908-389-9227 

FAXrciim: 908-389-8173 

Phone Orders 

Mon-Fri 8:30 AM-7 PM EST, Sat 9:30-2:30 
ESI We accept MC, Visa, AMEX. Domestic 
shipments, please add $5 per item for 
shipping/handling by UPS ground. For 
domestic COD shipments, please add $3. 
Rush service available. 

Mall or FAX / International / POs 

Phone number required with order. 

VAXaiem --(908) 389-8173 
Call from your FAX telephone and follow the 
Instructions to receive more information on 
the products featured abovel 

Corporate Accounts 

Call CORSOFT, our corporate sales division, 
Ask about volume purchase agreements. 


Subject to $25 processing charge. 

* All prices subject to change without notice. 

Circle 260 on Inquiry Card. 


DOS and Unix 
As One 

he Voyager, a worksta- 
tion based on an i486 
microprocessor, concur- 
rently runs Unix and DOS 
applications. Able to take 
full advantage of both envi- 
ronments, according to 
Tyan Computer, Voyager in- 
cludes 8 MB of RAM (ex- 
pandable to 64 MB) and a 
64-bit data bus. 

Voyager features inte- 
grated I/O ports, a built-in 
Ethernet interface, and an 
8514/A-compatible graphics 
adapter. Options for the 
3 Vz-inch internal hard disk 
drive range from 210 MB to 
500 MB. Preinstalled soft- 
ware includes Unix, X 
Window System version 11, 
and Motif. 

Price: Starts at $9999. 
Contact: Tyan Computer 
Corp., 612 North Mary 
Ave., Sunnyvale, CA 
94086, (408) 720-1200; fax 
(408) 720-1584. 
Circle 1287 on Inquiry Card. 

A 486 in a 
Ciioice of Speeds 

25-MHz and a 33- 
u \\ MHz model of the Sys- 
tems Integration Associates 
486 SF desktop computer are 
available. Both configura- 
tions accommodate three 
half-height drives or 
one full-height drive and 
one half-height drive. 

Tyan 's Voyager unites Unix and DOS on a single workstation. 

The 486 SF in both ver- 
sions incorporates an Intelli- 
gent Drive Electronics con- 
troller and 64K bytes of 
cache memory. Its 2-MB 
main memory is expandable 
to 32 MB. Cooling is via a 
front-mounted and a rear- 
mounted fan. Other stan- 
dard features include one 
parallel and two serial 
ports, a 600- by 800-pixel 
VGA card, and a 200-W 
power supply. 
Price: SIA 486/25 SF, 
$3495; SIA 486/33 SF, 

Contact: Systems Integra- 
tion Associates, 222 East 
Pearson, Suite 502, 
Chicago, IL 60611, (312) 

Circle 1 288 on Inquiry Card. 

The SIA 486/33 
SF functions as a 
stand-alone or in 
a network. 

Display and 
Battery Power 

16-MHz 386SX PC 
that runs on 4-hour 
nickel-cadmium batteries or 
on conventional power, the 
Lyte-Byte 5300 has 1 MB 
of RAM (expandable to 4 
MB), a 640- by 480-pixel 
VGA gas-plasma display, a 
40-MB hard disk drive, and 
a 3 '/2-inch floppy disk drive. 
The unit uses an AMI BIOS 
and an Intel 80387SX-16 
math coprocessor. Hard 
disk drives with capacities 
of up to 200 MB are 

Additional features of the 
Lyte-Byte 5300 include an 
expansion slot for a 16-bit 
short card, one parallel and 
two serial ports, and ports 
for an external 5 '4 -inch flop- 
py disk drive, a VGA color 
monitor, and an 101-key key- 
board. You can plug the 
computer into conventional 
power and use it with or 
without the battery pack 
in place. 

Price: Starts at $2195. 

Contact: Micro Express, 
1801 Carnegie Ave. , Santa 
Ana, CA 92705, (800) 642- 
7621 or (714) 852-1400; fax 
(714) 852-1225. 
Circle 1 289 on Inquiry Card. 

Tlie Latest 
for Arche 

rche's latest additions 

i to its Triumph line of 
PCs are the 386SX-16 and 
386SX-20. Both incorporate 
the company's integrated 
motherboards containing 
Presto, a single 5000-gate 
application-specific IC. 
Also on the boards are an 
Intelligent Drive Elec- 
tronics/FDC interface and a 
Tseng Labs ET4000 graphics 
chip set. 

The basic 386SX in- 
cludes a 16- or 20-bit Intel 
386 microprocessor with 
keyboard-selectable 8-MHz 
or 16-MHz clock speed, a 
socket for an 80387SX math 
coprocessor, and 1 MB of 
single in-line memory mod- 
ule RAM (expandable to 8 
MB on the motherboard). 
Other features include one 
parallel and two serial ports, 
two 8-bit and six 8-/16-bit 
expansion slots, and a 150-W 
power supply. The 386SX- 
20 includes 1 MB of video 
RAM with a graphics reso- 
lution of 1024 by 768 pixels 
in 256 colors and 2 MB of 
base RAM (expandable to 16 
MB on the motherboard). 
Price: Basic Triumph 
386SX-16, $1395; with on- 
board VGA and expandable 
RAM, $1595. Triumph 
386SX-20, $1830. 
Contact: Arche Technol- 
ogies, 48881 Kato Rd., Fre- 
mont, CA 94539, (800) 
422-4674 or (415) 623-8100; 
fax (415) 623-8171. 
Circle 1290 on Inquiry Card. 

68 BYTE- MAY 1991 


A Printer 
to Consider 

n support of the True- 
Image page description 
language, the TrueLaser 
printer uses the Am29000 
32-bit RISC microproces- 
sor. The printer comes with 
2 MB of DRAM (expand- 
able to 6 MB). 

Compatible with the Mac 
and any standard PC with a 
parallel or serial interface, 
the TrueLaser is bundled 
with 35 TrueType fonts. It 
is compatible with PostScript 
and provides Printer Com- 
mand Language emulation. 
With a print speed of 6 
ppm, the TrueLaser prints 
graphics and text. The 
printer can automatically 
switch among its Apple- 
Talk, Centronics, and 
RS-232 ports. 
Price: $2695. 
Contact: Microtek Lab, 
Inc., 680 Knox St., Tor- 
rance, CA 90502, (800) 
654-4160 or (213) 321-2121; 
fax (213) 538-1193. 
Circle 1291 on Inquiry Card. 

A Cursor 
for tlie Road 

he Icontroller, a cursor 
U controller that attaches 
to the side of your laptop, 
notebook, or PC, is Micro- 
soft and Mouse Systems 
compatible. In addition to 
fingertip cursor control 
with optional speeds, the unit 
has three function buttons. 

Other features of the lap- 
top Icontroller include a sig- 
nal selector, a 25-pin adapt- 
er, and required software. Its 
protective storage case at- 
taches to the laptop case. For 
times when you want to use 
the Icontroller with your 



Microtek's RISC-powered TrueLaser printer. 

desktop PC, an extension 
cord is packaged with the 
Price: $99.95. 
Contact: Suncom Technol- 
ogies, 6400 West Gross 
Point Rd. , Niles, IL 60648, 
(708) 647-4040; fax (708) 

Circle 1 292 on inquiry Card. 

A Hard Disk 
Drive Tliat Fits 
in Your Pocicet 

he PocketDisk, a self- 
J contained, removable 
hard disk drive for PCs, is 
available in two models. The 
PD20-1, for desktop PCs, 
weighs 13 ounces; the 
PDH20- 1, just over 1 
pound, works with desktop 
PCs and any laptop that 
accepts a half-card expan- 
sion board. 

Each disk drive has a 20- 
MB capacity with a 23 -ms 
access time. Besides using 
the PocketDisk as your pri- 
mary drive, you can use it 
as a secondary or fast backup 

Price: PD20-1, $895; 
Contact: Tradewinds Pe- 
ripherals, Inc., 2633 East 
28th St. , Long Beach, CA 
90806, (213) 595-7272; fax 
(213) 595-6446. 
Circle 1293 on Inquiry Card. 

Use Your Hard 
Disic Drive Wiiile 
You're Printing 

' he Export T series of 
external hard disk drives 
offers high-speed backup 
for laptop and desktop com- 
puters. Running from the 
parallel port, the devices let 
you simultaneously operate 
your hard disk drive and 
your printer. 

You bring the Export on- 
line via a device driver that 
you add to your CON- 
FIG.SYS file. The capacity 
of the 3y2-inch drives 
ranges from 20 MB to 207 
MB; speeds range from 28 
ms to 15 ms. The supplied 
device driver works with 
removable cartridge and 
magneto-optical drives, 
Bernoulli boxes, and 
Price: $595 to $1795. 
Contact: Systems Periph- 
erals Consultants, 7950 

Silverton Ave., Suite 107, 
San Diego, CA 92126, (619) 

Circle 1294 on Inquiry Cord. 


on a Keyboard 

! esting on a three-posi- 
tion nested stand, the 
ergonomically designed K- 
156-H Klik keyboard creates 
less stress than other key- 
boards, according to Hertz 
Computer. The small-foot- 
print, lightweight keyboard 
features sculptured, cylin- 
drical key caps by the Ger- 
man firm Cherry. Hidden 
underneath the board is an 
AT/XT switch. 

PC and Novell ELS Net- 
Ware compatible, the Klik in- 
cludes a separate inverted-T 
cursor control, 12 function 
keys, dedicated screen con- 
trol keys, and a separate nu- 
meric keypad. Nonskid 
rubber grips prevent the key- 
board from sliding away 
while you're typing. 
Price: $79 through June; 
$89 thereafter. 
Contact: Hertz Computer 
Corp., 325 Fifth Ave., New 
York, NY 10016, (212) 
684-4141; fax (212) 

Circle 1 295 on Inquiry Card. 

The ergonomically designed 
K-156-H Klik keyboard. 

MAY 1991 'BYTE 69 


Speed on a SCSI 
Solid-state Drive 

' he SiliconDisk Plus 
.1 SCSI solid-state disk 
drive, with an access time 
of 0.05 ms, emulates con- 
ventional disk drives but 
without mechanical delays 
such as seek and rotational 
latency. By using a Motorola 
68020 32-bit processor and 
a dedicated 25-MHz SCSI 
processor, the drive 
achieves a data transfer rate 
of 5 MBps on your PC or 
Mac, according to Atto. 

Included in the Silicon- 
Disk Plus is Atto's Auto For- 
mat feature, which lets you 
use the device without having 
to format it or install soft- 
ware drivers. With 32 single 
in-line memory module 
sockets, the unit has the ca- 
pacity to hold up to 128 MB 
of memory. 
Price: $2995. 
Contact: Atto Technology, 
Inc. , Baird Research Park, 
1576 Sweet Home Rd., 
Amherst, NY 14228, (716) 
688-4259; fax (716) 

Circle 1 296 on Inquiry Card . 


from a Kit 

he Transputer 

Kit includes a 
readv-to-use PC 

Atto 's SiliconDisk Plus has a 0. 05-ms access time. 

add-on board with a 20- 
MHz 32-bit transputer, a 
T400 C cross compiler, a 
T400 Occam compiler, an 
assembler, and documenta- 
tion. The kit is geared toward 
users who know how to 
program serial machines and 
want to learn multiprocess- 
ing and parallel computing. 

The kit is available with 
factory-installed options, 
such as up to 4 MB of local 
DRAM and a T425 or float- 
ing-point T800 transputer. 
You can link kits within a 
single PC or between PCs 
and expansion chassis. 
Price: Introductory price, 
$236; 1MB of DRAM, 
$110; add-on processor 


boards, $150. 

Contact: Computer System 
Architects, 950 North Uni- 
versity Ave., Provo, UT 
84604, (800) 753-4272 or 
(801) 374-2300; fax (801) 

Circle 1 297 on Inquiry Card. 

Learn parallel computing with the Transputer Education Kit. 

Grab and Print 
tiie Picture 

wo video image-cap- 
I J ture systems from 
IDEC, the Supervision/8 
and the Supervision/16, are 
available to users of AT- 
compatible computers. The 
Supervision/8 also works 
with XT compatibles. Both 
boards let you capture video 
images from a camera, 
videotape, or a live 

The Supervision/8 has a 
resolution of 256 pixels by 
256 lines by 256 shades of 
gray. It is compatible with 
Hercules monochrome, 
CGA, EGA, and VGA moni- 
tors. Printer compatibility 
is with dot-matrix and laser 

The resolution of the Su- 
pervision/16 is 512 pixels by 
488 lines by 256 shades of 
gray. You can display the pic- 
ture on any VGA monitor 
and many Super VGA moni- 

tors. It is laser-printer 


Price: Supervision/8, 

$269.95; Supervision/ 16, 

$369 95 

Contact: IDEC, Inc., 1195 
Doylestown Pike, Quaker- 
town, PA 18951, (215) 538- 
2600; fax (215) 538-2665. 
Circle 1 298 on Inquiry Card. 

VGA on a Budget 

Two $98 VGA boards that 
are free of DIP switches and 
jumpers are available for 
your PC. Both boards include 
drivers for Windows, 
Word, GEM, Ventura Pub- 
lisher, AutoCAD, Word- 
Perfect, and Lotus 1-2-3. 

oca's new 800- by 
' 600-pixel version of its 
Basic VGA by Boca board 
includes 256K bytes of 
RAM. The board supports 
16 colors in the 800- by 
600-pixel graphics mode 
and 256 colors in a 320- by 
200-pixel mode for VGA, 
EGA, CGA, and Hercules 
Price: $98. 

Contact: Boca Research, 
Inc., 6401 Congress Ave., 
Boca Raton, FL 33487, 
(407) 997-6227; fax (407) 

Circle 1 299 on Inquiry Card . 

verex's Viewpoint 
Standard VGA card 
automatically configures it- 
self for an 8-bit or a 16-bit 
bus and includes 256K 
bytes ofRAM. Its 800- by 
600-pixel resolution sup- 
ports 16 colors. The board 
provides extended VGA res- 
olution without using disk- 
based drivers. 
Price: $98. 

Contact: Everex Systems, 
Inc., 48431 Milmont Dr ., 
Fremont, CA 94538, (800) 
628-3837 or (415) 498-1111. 
Circle 1 300 on Inquiry Card. 

70 B YTE • MAY 1991 

The DBMS That 
Opens Windows 



Get High Performance 
Under Microsoft 
Windows 3.0™ With 

Develop Windows applications 
that are better, faster, and more 
profitable. db_VISTAin 
combines speed, flexibility, and 
productivity into one DBMS tool 
for C and Windows programmers. 
Add db_VISTA Hi's high-speed 
SQL retiieval to your application 
and watch your users enjoy power 
they've never experienced before. 

Built For Windows. 

db_VISTA m for Windows 3.0 
follows all of the Microsoft 


Database Management System 

guidelines for memory use. 
Dynamic linked hbraries (DLL), 
multi-tasking, and multi-user 
environments are aU supported. 
For even faster development, use 
db_VISTA m with products like 
ToolBook®, Windowcraft®, or 

No Other DBMS Opens 
Windows Like db VISTA ID! 

• Speed. Benchmarks show 
db_VISTA m significantly 
outperforms any DBMS under 

• No Royalties. Increase your 
profits; decrease your overhead. 

• C Source Code Available. 

For total progi-amming flexibility. 

» Portability. db_VISTAni 
supports most environments. 



Special $195 Osveloper's Et 

For a limited time on\y. \ on c;m jiet 
ourdb_VISTA ilalahiiso ciiiiinc lor 
Windows for 0)1 1> SI'j.'S. Call today 
aiid ask about oui- l)c\ cl()|\'r'.s Ktlition 
and experience how db .\'I.STA III 
can open Window s lor \ on. 

^ ^Developer license only; not for distribulion. ^ 

Call 1-800-db-RAIMA 


In Washington State call: (206) 747-5570 
Ask for extension 131. 

Full Raima Support Services - 
Including Training. Develop 
your applications even faster with 
Raima Training Classes: 

May 6-8 - Boston, MA 

May 6-10 - Chicago, IL 

May 20-22 - Mexico 

June 10-14 - NYC,SUI,NL 

June 18-20 - San Francisco 

Specifications: Single & multi-user. Automatic recovery. Automatic referential integrity. Relational and network 
data models supported. Relational SQL query and report writer. Complete revision capability. C source code is available. 
No royalties. Supports; MS Windows, MS-DOS, OS/2, VMS, UNK, BSD, QNX, SunOS, Macintosh. 




Raima Corporation 3245 146th Place S.E., Bellevue, WA 98007 USA (206)747-5570 Fax: (206)747-1991 Telex: 6503018237 MCI UW 
International Distributors: Aiistraliai 61 24197177 Austria: 43 22 43 81861 Belgium: 32 2 734 9818 Brazil; 55 1 1 829 1687 Central America: 506 28 07 64 Denmarli: 45 42 887249 Finland: 358 042051 
France: 33 1 46092784 Italy; 39 45 584711 Japan: 81 3 865 2140 Mexico: 52 83 49 53 00 TiieNctlierlands: 31 2503 26312 Norway: 47 244 8855 Singapore; 65 298 2308 Sweden: 46 13 UI588 Switzerland: 
41 64517475 Taiwan: 886 2 552 3277 Turkey; 90 1 152 0516 United Kingdom: 44 992 500919 Uiuguay; 598 292 0959 USSR; 01 22 35 99 07; 812292 7210; 0142 437952 West Germany: 49 7022 34077 

Copyright ©1991 Raima Corporation, All rights resen'etl. db_ is registered in the U.S.Paleiit anil Tratleitiark OJfice. Windows 3.0, ToolBook. Windoweraft. and Actor are Iradeinartts oftlielr respective companies. 

Circle 266 on Inquiry Card. 

We've launch 

solve probler 

.11.) 11 J J J J LIJ 1 1 1 f 


-:JM' i' 1^ !• 1" l" l 

1 1 1 

^^□QH „ „ 

1 1 i- 1-' 

The nev^Microsoff BallPoinf mouse 
represents one giant step for you and your 
laptop computer 

That's because new 
BallPoint is the first and 
only mouse specifically de- 
veloped for laptops. It's 
compact, yet includes all 
the features that made the 

©1991 Microsoft Corpomtion.All rights reserved.Microsoft and the Microsoft logo are registJ""^^i»( 

tid a mouse to 

ms in space. 

Microsoft Mouse tlie industry leader. 

Simply attach it to either side of vir- 
tually any laptop keyboard, and adjust it to 
the most comfortable angle. Then thumb 
your way through Microsoft Windows™ 
graphical environment version 3.0 and all 
your favorite mouse-driven applications. 

And for a limited time, you can get a 
free BallPoint mouse when you purchase a 

COMPAQ notebook or laptop PC. 

Just call (800) 541-1261, and ask for 
Dept. P40.Theyll send you everything you 
need to know about the mouse designed to 
go where no mouse has gone before. 



Making it all make sense 

mmemarks and BallPoint, Making it all make sense and Windows are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. COMPAQ is a registered trademark of Compaq Computer Corporation. 


Redefining the price-performance 
ratio in high-resolution color monitors 

For the whole sweep of advanced, 
demanding applications; CAD/CAM, 
graphic design, desktop publishing, 
medical and scientific imaging, and 

Flat square technology and inno- 
vative focus system virtually eliminate 
distortion and flicker and reduce eye 

strain. Both 17" and 21" monitors offer 
brilliant color and automatic scanning 
over wide frequency ranges (30-65KHz), 
VGA-, 8514A- and Mac Il-compatible 
with resolution up to 1280 pixels x 1024 
lines. Smart, compact design with handy 
controls and easy adjustments. 

All this at undeniably realistic prices. 

Return Today To Learn More About 
Toshiba FS Monitors 

Mail Prepaid or Phone 1-800-253-5429, Ext. 321 
or Fax 708-541-1927 

—Yes, have a Toshiba dealer phone to arrange 

a demo; ( ) 

.- .Yes, send me more information on; 

17" high-resolution color monitors 

21" high-resolution color monitors 

Please be sure to include your name and 

address on the back of this card. 

Redefining the price-performance ratio in high-resolution color monitors 


Company - 
Address - 
City - 


No Postage 
If Mailed 
In The 
United States 





Toshiba America Consumer Products Inc 
Customer Information Seivices 
445 West Erie Street, Suite 211 
Chicago, Illinois 606lO-9640 




Toshiba FS. Recreating Reality Affordably. 

At $3499 list the 21" is $1000 less than 
the competition. At $2100 list the 17" 
delivers far more monitor than anything 
else in its price range. Seeing is believing 
Try a Toshiba at your dealer's. For more 
information phone or fax today: 


Extension 321 708-541-1927 fax 

21" $3499 list 

17" $2100 list 

Toshiba America Consumer Products, Inc. 1010 Johnson Drive, Buffalo Grove, IL 60089 © 1991 Toshiba America, Inc. 

Circle 308 on Inquiry Card (RESELLERS: 309). 


Blazing a Trail 

for Network 

^ debit's NetBlazer, a 
.,. dial-up and leased-line 
IP router, provides remote 
users with access to TCP/IP 
networlcs and services. A 
bidirectional networlc device, 
NetBlazer enables dial-up 
users to access multiple hosts 
during a single session. A 
network of Unix machines 
can share the modems con- 
nected to the NetBlazer for 
outgoing connections. 

The NetBlazer supports 
as many as three Ethernet 
ports, up to 26 connections 
to modems and other RS-232 
devices, and one port for a 
V.35 connection to a 56K- 
byte leased line. The unit's 
2 MB of memory is expand- 
able to 8 MB. Its software 
provides three levels of 
network security. The 
NetBlazer is available in a 
number of configurations, 
letting you customize its 

Price: Starts at $2995. 
Contact: Telebit Corp. , 
1315 Chesapeake Terrace, 
Sunnyvale, CA 94089, 
(800) 835-3248 or (408) 734- 
4333; fax (408) 734-3333. 
Circle 1 306 on Inquiry Card . 

Telebit 's NetBlazer acts as a terminal/modem server and also 
offers dynamic dial-up TCP/IP connectivity. 

Mailing Networlc 
a Snap 

desktop management 
tr \\ and control system for 
LANs and wide-area net- 
works, SnapNet operates as 
an application under Win- 
dows 3.0. The program helps 
you build, display, track, 
and modify the topological 
layout of your network. You 
can also create network data- 
bases, directories, and 
graphical displays. 

With SnapNet you can 
view high-resolution topo- 
logical displays with or 
without maps. SnapNet lets 
you move from a national 
network down through re- 





Hc-de Cistailn 

Hoda cane S.iS switch 1 
Type' X. 25 switch 
City, State. 

ilCR Cer^ten prccessoi- 

Ini-taUed on Aug 10. 1990 : 
Coiit«r:t ■ ..icliJi kvsis. ThI ■ ( 

Typa. X..;5 switch 
City. St#te 

IICR il^sleii processor 
Sc-rsal Ho. 24?t)l.: 
Installed cn August 10. 1?9 
'^ciitact. Johti Ayezs. (514) 


SnapNet works under Windows 3. to let you build, display, 
track, and modify topological layouts. 

gional displays into a LAN 
within a single location. At 
any stage, you can store and 
print the display, including 
hardware and software con- 
figuration notes, on any 
printer supported by Win- 
dows 3.0. SnapNet automati- 
cally creates the database 
and directory that let you 
identify and track each 
node and link by name, type, 
and location. 

The system requires 1 
MB of RAM, a hard disk 
drive, a floppy disk drive, a 
color monitor, and a mouse. 
Price: $995. 

Contact: Network Monitor- 
ing, Inc., 2365 Paragon Dr., 
SanJose,CA 95131, (408) 
453-6430; fax (408) 453- 

Circle 1307 on Inquiry Card. 

to Novell 
Through Mosaic 

[ osaic for Macintosh 
n V /f J lets you use your Mac 
to print documents to a 
Novell network from any ap- 
plication on Hewlett-Pack- 
ard LaserJet and DeskJet 
printers. The program does 

not require additional hard- 
ware or add-on printer 

Mosaic for Macintosh re- 
quires 1 MB of memory and 
System 6.0. The software is 
compatible with NetWare 
ELS II, Advanced Net- 
Ware, and Advanced Net- 
Ware SFT file servers. In- 
cluded with Mosaic for 
Macintosh is Novell's Net- 
Ware Desk Accessory utility. 
Price: $395 for three users; 
$595 for 10 users. 
Contact: Insight Develop- 
ment Corp. , 2200 Powell St. , 
Suite 500, Emeryville, CA 
94608, (800) 825-4115 or 
(415) 652-41 15; fax (415) 

Circle 1308 on Inquiry Card. 

Toicen Ring 
Adapter Card 
for Mac lis 

Cabletron's Desktop 
Network Interface 
(DNI) card for the Mac II 
NuBus provides built-in net- 
work management and 
diagnostic capabilities. The 
card lets Mac II users con- 
nect to 4- or 16-Mbps Token 
Ring networks over shield- 
ed or unshielded twisted-pair 

The card incorporates 
Cabletron's Lanview status 
monitoring and diagnostic 
system, which lets you quick- 
ly determine if you have ac- 
cessed the network. Lanview 
also lets you determine your 
data-distribution speed and 
whether your computer is 
transmitting or receiving 

Price: $1295. 
Contact: Cabletron Sys- 
tems, Inc. , 35 Industrial 
Way, Rochester, NH 
03867, (603) 332-9400; fax 
(603) 332-7386. 
Circle 1 309 on Inquiry Card. 


"ftlA TELi 

78 BYTE* MAY 1991 

The Carry- 1 9000 series comes complete ivith 80386SX/80286-16/ 
80286-12 microprocessor (Co-Processor optional). 1024 x 768 
VGA/MGA & CGA display interface, 1/2/4 MB RAM, one 3.5" 
1.44 MB FDD or one FDD plus one 40/80 MB HDD, one 8 bit 
expansion SLOT, one parallel and two serial I/O ports, and one 
jOWauto range switching power adapter, all in the traditional 
240mm X 185mm x 45mm. (9.4" x 7.3" x 1.8") casing ofCarry- 
I. Each package includes two mini-toiver stands and a carry bag. 
The 81 key mini keyboard with 101 functions and 9 inch color 
or monochrome VGA monitor are optional. 

Other Carry-I products include the 8000 series XT&AT book-size 
personal computers and the 6000 series XT and AT book-size 
LANstations. All Carry-I product lines are bundled ivith DR DOS 

Hong Kong 

TEL# 69-7460B1 , 746453 
TEL# 305-1 268 
TEL# 2-7852556, 7897538 
TEL# 408-7277373, 7277374 

FAX# 69-749375 

FAX# 796-8427 

FAX# 2-7852371 , 7837970 

FAX# 408-7277375 

' NADA: BUDGETRON TEL# 4 l6-56'i-780() FAX# 4 16-564-2679 < 


Tlie \%i(fs Leading Computer Trade Straw for fleseiefs mi End-Users 

Georgia Worid Congress Center, Bootti # 4458 

• FRANCE: M3C TEL# 1-48271976 FAX# 1-42355916 • GERMANY: MACROTRON TEL# 89-4208233 FAX# 89-423745 
- ^ECE: ALTEC TEL# 1-8832(117 FAX# 1-8816187 • HONG KONG: PARKLY TEL# 3051268 FAX# 7968427 • INDIA: BEETA/UNICORP TEL# 1 1-6831341 FAX# 1 1-6845828 • ITALY 
'«1A TEL# 522-518599 FAX# 522-518599 • IWALAYSIA: COMTEC TEL# 03-2748888 FAX# 03-2749988 • NETHERLAND: KN TEL# 2968-84I4I FAX# 2968-97436 • NORWAY' 
-Uh DAI A TEL# 2-7225 1 FAX* 2-7225 1 5 • SINGAPORE: TRANSNIKO TEL# 4758408 FAX# 4713803 • SOUTH AFRICA: PC MART TEL# 1 1-8043355 FAX* 1 1-8024 153 . SWITZERLAND^ 
^ SOFTWARE TEL# ()22-622()20 FAX# 022-615650 • UNITED KINGDOM: CENTERPRISE TEL# 256-463754 FAX# 256-843174 • BELGIUM: CELEM S.A. TEL# 41-676434 FAX# 41 676515 

Circle 123 on Inquiry Card. 


The Next Gets 
a Fax Modem 

' he InterFax NX fax 
i modem for the Next 
computer combines 9600- 
bps fax capabilities with a 
2400-bps Hayes-compatible 
data modem. The unit pro- 
vides MNP level 5 data 
compression for data 
throughput as high as 4800 
bps and built-in MNP data 

Jointly developed by 
Abaton and Next, the Inter- 
Fax NX comprises software 
built into Next's newest oper- 
ating system and Abaton 's 
hardware. InterFax works by 
converting your document 
from Display PostScript to 
fax format and immediately 
sending it to the specified 
destination. You receive vi- 
sual status of the progress of 
your fax or data call via the 
LEDs on the unit. A built-in 
speaker informs you of ad- 
ditional status information. 
The machine supports auto- 
matic data-to-voice 
Price: $595. 
Contact: Abaton, 48431 
Milmont Dr., Fremont, CA 
Circle 1 3 1 on Inquiry Card . 

for Macintosh 


i n internal V.42 and 
, I V.42bis fax/data mo- 
dem for the Macintosh Por- 
table, the Comport 5/42 
gives you an effective 
throughput of 9600 bps using 
a 2400-bps modem. Hayes 
compatible, the modem 

works with all Macintosh 

The Comport 5/42 wakes 
the Mac from sleep mode 
when it detects an incoming 
call and lets you schedule 
transmissions to take ad- 
vantage of nighttime rates. 
The software includes the 
QuickFax desk accessory, 
which lets you send faxes 
from within any application. 
Price: $699. 

Contact: PSI Integration, 
Inc., 851 East Hamilton 
Ave. , Suite 200, Campbell, 
CA 95008, (800) 622-1722 
or (408) 559-8544; fax 
(408) 559-8548. 
Circle 1311 on Inquiry Card. 


T he FlexiHub, a modu- 
lar internal lOBase-T 
hub, features modules 
called HubSimms. Each 
HubSimm provides connec- 
tivity for two ports, giving 
you the flexibility of in- 
stalling a hub with 6, 8, 10, 
or 12 ports. 

The FlexiHub is capable 
of full repeater signal regen- 
eration, as well as automat- 
ic and independent port par- 
titioning and reconnection. 
A BNC connector provides 
thin Ethernet connectivity 

and lets you cascade Flexi- 
Hubs for larger networks. 
Price: $600 for 6 ports; 
$150 each additional 2 ports; 
$950 for 12 ports. 
Contact: Pivotal Technol- 
ogies, Inc. , 18240 Purdue 
Dr., Saratoga, CA 95070, 
(408) 374-7887; fax (408) 

Circle 1312 on Inquiry Card. 

Poste Your Unix 

Poste, an E-mail pro- 
gram for Unix users, is 
designed to let technical 
and nontechnical users send 
multipart, multimedia mes- 
sages across a number of dif- 
ferent mail networks. A 
graphical application, Poste 
has an OSF/Motif interface 
that includes multiple win- 
dows capable of accepting 
input simultaneously. 

The open architecture of 
Poste lets you easily integrate 
new applications as they be- 
come available. The program 
aids message delivery by 
providing recipient address 
templates for X.400 and In- 
ternet addressing. Message 
management features in- 
clude hierarchical file fold- 
ers, cross indexing, and 
message query and sorting 
on multiple fields. 
Price: $395. 

Contact: Alfalfa Software, 
Inc., Suite 4200, 185 Ale- 
wife Brook Pkwy. , Cam- 
bridge, MA 02137, (617) 
497-2922; fax (617) 876- 

Circle 1 31 3 on Inquiry Card. 

PSI's Comport 5/42 fax/modem wakes sleepy Macintosh 
portables when it detects an incoming call. 

80 BYTE* MAY 1991 

You should buy a 

multi-user BBS for one simple reason: 



eturn On Investment 

How much money do you pay to overnight 
courier services eveiy month? How much to 
the U.S. Postal Service? Are you interested in 
malting the most productive possible use of 
your business resources? 

A BBS (Bulletin Board System) can im- 
prove your bottom line in several ways; 

1 . Cut costs by transferring computer files 
over telephone lines, instead of paying 
courier charges. With modems, you can 
send files to or from your home office at 
speeds up to 38,400 bits per second. A 
60-second telephone connection costing 
less than a dollar can take the place of a 
diskette via overnight courier costing 
$11.50 or more. 

2. Improve your overall business 
responsiveness by doing business faster. 
Why wait for that spreadsheet file 
overnight, by courier, when you can 
receive it instantly, by modem? Send and 
receive software, purchase orders, 
databases, and word processor files right 
away, rather than waiting a day. 
Sometimes an extra day can make the 
difference between success and failure. 

3. Eliminate mailing costs by offering files 
(updates, newsletters, CAD files, 
whatever your business may provide) to 
your customers for download, rather than 
mailing them diskettes or printed matter 
all the time. The phone call is on their 
nickel, and they'll love it because they're 
getting the information right away, not 
several days stale. 

4. Gain a competitive edge by offering your 
customers round-the-clock service - but 
without increasing your staff hours! 24 
hours a day, your BBS can provide 
prices, refer people to your dealers, and 
act as a Q & A clearinghouse, all 
unattended. Your own people can log on 
for a few minutes a day, any time it is 
convenient for them. 

Depending on your particular business, you 
may be able to harness this technology in even 
more productive ways. If you have a field sales 
force, for example, or a dealer network, your 
BBS can host both public discussion areas and 
private one-on-one E-Mail. If you're in the 
software business, you can offer technical 
support, user-group "forums", application 
examples, and downloadable "demo 
disks" to your prospects instantly. II 
you do market research, you can 
use online questionnaires to gathi 
vast amounts of data without eve 
picking up the phone or hiring a 
single telephone interviewer. 

You can calculate Return On Investment (R.O.I,) as the ratio between the annual "payoff" of your BBS, rrinus expenses, and the 
Initial cost of setting It up. The "payoff" may not be known exactly, but you can approximate it as a certain amount per hour 
of usage. One method of analysis, Illustrated below, shows that various reasonable assumptions can yield exciting results: 


PC (386 + 

mulll- software 






per mo. 



modems (ML+src) 

per mo. 

per hr. 






$2090 $1280 
















$2840 $1580 





















$3688 $1880 




















The figures shown here do not include overhead, set-up expenses, or ongoing maintenance. Software costs shown are for the 
popular combination of the Menuman and File Library editions, with C source code. If you prefer to do your own spreadsheet, the 
formulas here are (assuming columns lettered A through K): E=A*50, l=G*H/A, J=F*G*H*30, K=12*(J-E)/(B+C-I-D)' 

You can get started with all of this for as 
little as $59. This buys our complete 2-line 
software package. The Major BBS®, which 
includes E-Mail, file upload/download, 
teleconferencing, questionnaires, an Audit 
TVail, a "user registry", and much more. Initial 
set-up is quick and easy - 15 minutes on the 
average - and unlimited technical support 
(within reason) is just a phone call away. 
There's even a 30-day money-back satisfac- 
tion guarantee. 

We're hoping that you'll like the $59 pack- 
age so much that you'll want to expand it. Our 
main business is a wide variety of hardware 
and software add-ons, such as multi-modem 
cards, multi-port serial cards, the GalactiBox. 
"extended editions" of The Major BBS, 
C source code, The Major Database, i 
the X.25 software option, the 
Ergo OS/286 protected-mode 
toolkit, the Dial-Out package, 
Search-and-Retrieve™, and ; 
an assortment of multi-user ■ 
games and amusements. 

None of these add-ons approach the cost 
effectiveness of the $59 package, of course, 
but they all represent excellent value. Operate 
your own BBS for a few months, and find out 
for yourself just how useful a BBS can be. 

To order, just call 305-583-5990 and 
say, "I'd like to place an order!" We accept 
VISA, Mastercard, and American Express... 
or, we can ship C.O.D. if you like. We also 
accept Purchase Orders from major corpora- 
tions and government. 

Galacticomm, Inc. 
4101 S.W. 47th Ave. #101 
Ft. Lauderdale, FL33314 

Circle 1 26 on Inquiry Card 
(RESELLERS: 127). 

How to make ^ 
ate every Ic 

Q.T. Package Goods 
Sales Review 

Q.T. Pa igc 
Sale le^ 










— m 

TOM: "Well, that's an accurate presentation 
of unit sales, but what I'd like to know is dollar 

Now, you can answer all those "What if... 
"What about ..." and "What would happen ..." 
questions from every Tom, Dick and Harriet in 
the room. Instantaneously. In brilliant, photo- 
graphic-quality color. 

With the new In Focus 
5000CX LCD projection panel. 

Simply place it on your over- 
head, connect your Macintosh or 
IBM compatible computer and you 

have one of the most powerful and persuasive date 
presentation tools ever seen. 

The 5000CX can project nearly 5000 cost 
colors at a time. And its 640 x 480 resolution dorr, 
supports all VGA, EGA, GGA and Macintosh and 
video standards. 

So you can access all of your computer's of hJ 
software. While you're presenting. mon 

You can project new projections. Revise revi- 
sions. And tailor your presentation to accommo- \ 

IN mcUS SYSTEMS INC." IVO SW Mohawk Siml. ■lUalalin, Ortpii 97062. l-SOO-327-7231. liiOntffn, S03-6K-4968. Fax: S03-692-'l476. 'Offer gnd in IheViiiled Stales and Canada while supplies last. I'oid when las! 

bm, Dick and Harriet 

>acige Goods 

Q.T. Package Goods 
Sales Review 

Cost of 


— ■ 





i I I I ' ■ * I i " 7^ ^^^^^^ 

DICK: "That was certainly 
quick. Have you got any data on 
the actual costs of goods?" 




date every member of your audience. On the spot. 

What's more, you'll never again have the 
cost or hassle of preparing slides. Or the bore- 
I dom of presenting yet another set of dull, black 
and vs'hite overheads. 

The 5000CX is just one of a complete line 
of high-performance, portable In Focus color and 
monochrome projection panels. 

Gome see a demonstration of one today. 
We promise you a show you won't forget. 

HARRIET: "That's not a pretty picture for 
the cosmetics division. By the way, do you think 
you could help me out on this presentation I'm 
giving tomorrow. . . '.' 

For a limited time, we're giving away a free 
portable overhead projector with every In Focus 
color projection panel! It's a $495.00 value. So 
call 1-800-327-7231 or in Oregon, 503-692-4968 
today. And arrange to see a free demonstration. 



Circle 1 67 on Inquiry Card. 


A Mightier 
Loolc & Feel 

' ' he new version of the 
■ C-scape Interface Man- 
agement System and Look 
& Feel Screen Designer, a li- 
brary of C routines for 
creating user interfaces, now 
offers support for several 
DOS extenders, allowing you 
to write applications that 
break the 640K-byte barrier. 
Version 3.2 of the system 
also supports the X Window 
System for Unix and VMS. 

Supported extenders in- 
clude the Phar Lap 386 1 
DOS-Extender, Rational 
Systems' 16/M DOS Extend- 
er, and Ergo Computing's 
OS/286 DOS Extender. The 
C-scape library of routines 
lets you add text-entry fea- 
tures such as word wrap, 
search and replace, and block 
commands to your applica- 
tions. You can also add 
menuing systems, mouse 
support, data entry, help, 
graphics compatibility, and 
other interface elements. 
Price: DOS version, $499; 
Unix version, $1499; QNX 
version, $599; VMS ver- 
sion, $2499. 

Contact: Oakland Group, 
Inc., 675 Massachusetts 
Ave., Cambridge, MA 
02139, (800) 233-3733 or 
(617) 491-7311; fax (617) 

Circle 1 272 on Inquiry Card. 

C++ Library 
for dBASE 

A new multiuser data- 
base management li- 
brary for C4-I- lets you 
work directly with the data, 
memo, and index files of 
dBASE IV and build dBASE 
IV-compatible applica- 
tions. By using C++ and the 
class library, you can pro- 
gram applications with code 
that is faster, more flexible, 
and more portable than pro- 

The graphical versions of Professional Edit for Unix include 
printer drivers for more than 450 printers. Buzzwords ' Screen 
Shooter captured the moon bit-map image. 

Unix Development in l\^otif 
and Open Desktop 

A new programming and desktop publishing environment 
for Unix takes advantage of Motif, Open Desktop, and Open 
Look, letting you open multiple windows with files of up to 
1 MB each. The new graphical versions of Professional Edit 
let you cut and paste columns and blocks between windows 
while providing a workbench environment for linkers, make 
tools, and C compilers. The editor is WordStar and Side- 
Kick compatible; you can remap the keyboard to support 
your favorite editor interface. 

Price: Any platform running X Window System, $550 (in- 
cludes character-based version for terminals); DOS, $95; 
Windows, $195; any Unix character-based version, $295; 
Screen Shooter, $95. 

Contact: Buzzwords International, 2879 Hopper Rd. , Cape 
Girardeau, MO 63701, (314) 334-6317; fax (314) 334- 

Circle 127T on Inquiry Card. 

gramming in a dBASE 
Price: $295. 
Contact: Sequiter Soft- 
ware, Inc., Suite 209, 9644 

54 Ave., Edmonton, Alber- 
ta, Canada T6E 5V1,(403) 
448-0313; fax (403) 

Circle 1 274 on Inquiry Cord . 

A New Look 
to Portable 

spect, a set of graphi- 
1 cal user interface cre- 
ation tools and libraries for 
writing portable graphics- 
based applications, includes 
a C-callable application pro- 
gramming interface and an 
interactive design tool. You 
can port applications writ- 
ten to the Aspect API to each 
supported run-time envi- 
ronment. An OSF/Motif and 
a Unix-character run-time 
environment should ship by 
the end of May. Other ver- 
sions will follow later this 

The design tool produces 
a portable resource file that 
allows changes to the inter- 
face without recompiling the 
application. Each Aspect 
run-time environment imple- 
ments elements such as 
menus, push buttons, and 
scroll bars in the underly- 
ing native toolbox. An appli- 
cation with an Aspect user 
interface, when linked to the 
Aspect Motif run-time, re- 
sults in a native Motif imple- 
mentation. Likewise, the 
same application, when 
linked to the Mac run-time, 
results in a native Mac 

To solve the dilemma of 
Unix developers who want to 
offer software in an X Win- 
dow-based user interface as 
well as a character inter- 
face, Aspect developed a 
character run-time. 
Price: Character-based 
SCO Unix and Interactive, 
$995; Motif, $1495; intro- 
ductory price for Mac and 
Windows (when they be- 
come available), $795. 
Contact: Open, Inc., 655 
Southpointe Court, Suite 
100, Colorado Springs, CO 
80906, (719) 576-8967; fax 
(719) 576-7246. 
Circle 1 273 on Inquiry Card. 

84 BYTE • MAY 1991 

PostScript solutions for LaserJet printers 
haven't exactly set records for speed. 

But times have 

PaaficPage PadficPage 
XL 4.0 

In the past, patience has been a necessity 
when printing PostScript® quality graphics 
and text on your LaserJet IIP, III, or HID laser 

Introducing PacificPage XL™- 
it will change the way you look 
at PostScript language emula- I 
tion products, both in price and 
performance. That's because 
PacificPage XL offers PostScript 
compatible output in record time for a price 
lower than competitive products. 

Compare it to the Hewlett-Packard 
PostScript solution. For their cartridge and 
2 MB of printer memory you will spend 
$1085. PacificPage XL provides the newest 
version of our PacificPage P»E cartridge and 
a high speed accelerator board that installs 
easily into the LaserJet's printer memory slot 
It includes an Intel i960™ KB RISC micropro- 
cessor and 2 MB of memory which produces 
output 2 to 8 times faster than the HP car- 


fridge solution. All for the 
low price of $999. 

Even without the 
accelerator board, 
PacificPage P«E now 
^ provides an overall 25% 
increase in speed over the 
HP cartridge. PacificPage P»E and 
PacificPage XL come with a Ufe- 
time warranty and a money back 
guarantee of satisfaction. 

If you're looking for a change of 
pace in PostScript 
solutions for the 
LaserJet printer, call 
your nearest dealer or 
contact Pacific Data 
Products, 9125 Rehco 
Road, San Diego, 
California 92121, USA. 
(619) 597-4644, Fax 
(619) 552-0889. 



AU pnces are U.S. Imt effechve 2/15/91. For time comparisons, PoslScripl solutions installed on LaserJet III printer connected via parallel cable to NEC 386 25 Mhz personal computer All 
prmler tunes measured from hitting "Enter" key to engine start-up. PadficPage XL and PadHcPage P'E are trademarks of Padfic Data Products, Inc. i960 is a trademark of Intel Corporadon 
IhoentxPage is a register!^ trademark of Phoenix Technologies Ltd. Copyright 1987, 1988 Phoenix Technologies Ltd. HP, LaserJet and Resolution Enhancement are registered trademarks of 
Hewlett-Packard Co. PostScript is a registered trademarks of Adobe Systems Inc. EUROPEAN SALES OFFICES: The Netherlands, Td (31) 20-475566, Fax (3 1) 20-453329 France Tel (33) 1- 
42669075, Fax (33) 1-42661560 England Tel (44)442-231414, Fax (44)442-236540 Switzerland Td (41) 22412650, Fax (41) 22-410682. © 1991 Pacific Data Products, Inc 


for Motif, 
Open Look 

ccess Technology's 
L I newest version of its 
20/20 spreadsheet supports 
OSF/Motif and Open Look 
graphical interfaces. The 
graphical 20/20 takes full 
advantage of the X Window 
System environment, re- 
sponding automatically to 
window modification such as 
resizing, repositioning, and 
cutting and pasting data 
between windows. 

Developed in tandem 
with Sun, the Open Look 
version uses that environ- 
ment's pushpin facility to 
make dialog boxes (which 
normally pop up and disap- 
pear) remain on-screen. It 
also lets you drag and drop 
icons representing 20/20 
files from the Open Look file 
manager into 20/20 for 
automatic loading. 20/20 is 
also available for SunView, 
as a character-based interface 
product, and in a real-time 
version for market traders 
who need the automatic up- 
dating of spreadsheets as 
information changes. 

Add-in products for 
20/20 include OpenLink, a 
bridge to applications writ- 
ten in traditional program- 
ming languages, and Data- 
base Connection, a DBMS 
retrieval mechanism that 
draws information into the 
spreadsheet for processing. 
Access says the connection 
lets you transparently inte- 
grate 20/20 with Oracle, In- 
gres, and Sybase databases 
without knowing Structured 
Query Language or requir- 
ing an intermediate tempo- 
rary file. 

Currently, 20/20 runs on 
more than 25 different Unix 

20/20 supports screen graph types including pie, comparison 
bar, overlay, and x,y graphs. 

Price: 20/20 prices start at 
$600 per workstation; 20/20 
real-time prices start at 
$1800; OpenLink and Data- 
base Connection prices 
start at $240 each. 
Contact: Access Technol- 
ogy, Two Natick Executive 
Park, Natick, MA 01760, 
(508) 655-9191; fax (508) 

Circle 1275 on Inquiry Card. 

The Exclaim! graphical 
spreadsheet for the X 
Window System and Motif 
now supports a live link to 
the X version of Frame- 
Maker, allowing a document 
to contain WYSIWYG 
spreadsheet images and busi- 
ness graphics. The program 
also supports the IS08859 
character set, allowing you 
to store information in 
French, German, Spanish, 
and other languages. The 
program runs on a variety 
of Unix platforms. 
Price: $695 per floating 

Contact: Quality Software 
Products, 571 1 West Slauson 
Ave., Suite 240, Culver 
City, CA 90230, (213) 410- 
0303; fax (213) 410-0124. 
Circle 1276 on Inquiry Card. 

What You See 
Is What You Get 
with Quattro 

' orland continues to 
add features to its Quat- 
tro Pro (QP) spreadsheet 
without requiring a hardware 
upgrade from an 8088- 
based PC with 512K bytes of 
RAM. Version 3.0 of the 
program adds a WYSIWYG 
display for working with 
typefaces, styles, colors, 
and sizes. The WYSIWYG 
Zoom lets you proportionally 
reduce or enlarge your 
screen (between 25 percent 
and 200 percent) to see 
more or less of your spread- 
sheet. A handy print-to-fit 
feature automatically shrinks 
or enlarges a print block to 
fit it into a single page, and 
the program has built-in 
banner-printing capability. 

Unlike the Impress add- 
in for Lotus 1-2-3 release 
3 . 1 , which has its own 
menu structure and creates 
modified versions of the 
underlying spreadsheet, QP's 
WYSIWYG is totally inte- 
grated into the program. Ac- 
cording to Borland, this lets 

you work with any aspect of 
the program in WYSIWYG 
mode without requiring you 
to learn another command 
set. QP 3.0's backward com- 
patibility lets you share 
files among previous versions 
of the spreadsheet, and it 
runs on everything from an 
8088 to a 486 system. 

The Pro View Power Pack 
provides additional clip art, 
fonts, macros, and other 
presentation capabilities to 
augment those already in 
QP 3.0 (e.g., transitional ef- 
fects). The pack, which 
comes with QP 3.0, includes 
a macro library for stream- 
lining the process of creating 
graphs and presentations. It 
also has two headline type- 
faces, clip art, graph and 
text chart templates, and a 
collection of digitized 
sound effects for use during 
slide-show transitions. The 
three effects are fanfare, 
thank you, and applause. If 
your company's fortunes 
have been colored red, you 
can get a boo and other sound 
effects from a Borland 
third-party developer. 

QP 3.0 is part of Bor- 
land's strategy to provide a 
continuum of products that 
provide for an easy upgrade 
to Windows. The company 
says it will deliver a full 
Windows version of Quattro 
this year. 

Price: QP 3.0 with Pro- 
View, $495. 

Contact: Borland Interna- 
tional, Inc., 1800 Green 
Hills Rd., P.O. Box 
660001, Scotts Valley, CA 
95067, (408) 438-8400. 
Circle 1277 on Inquiry Card. 

S6 BYTE- MAY 1991 





When you think about it, a one-size- 
fits-all mouse mokes as much sense 
as a one-size-fits-all shoe. That's why 
Logitech" created MouseMon™— the first 
ine of mice designed to fit different 
kinds of hands. All MouseMon prod- 
ucts ore ergonomically shaped for 
comfort and ease of use. They're 
also totally plug compatible with the 
Microsoft" mouse. Of course, all come 
with Logitech's legendary quality and 
ifetime warranty. 

' x the Right Hand 

MouseMon for 

MouseMon for n 
the Left flond , 

Rodio Mouse 

For more information, call: 

800-231-7717 ext. 2606 

InCA: 800-552-8885 ext. 2617. 


Tools That Power The Desktop. 




We finally fg 
that can outpefifom 

The Tandon 486/33. 

An awesome computer designed from the ground 
up around the top of the Hne Intel® 80486 processor. 
But processing at a speed of 
33 MHz. And we didn't stop there. 

We added our exclusive 
MultiCACHE"', a 64k external 
cache that accelerates processor read 
operations even more. 

And we didn't stop there. We put it into 
high gear with the proprietaiy Tandon 
PowerPoster ' . A unique write huff er that 
speeds up write operations to RAM. 

And then to make things really fly, 
we comhined a 64 bit bus (double the width) with 
the latest EISA technology to boost performance to 

;«)-l)ii.V MdiH-y lliicli 
( iiiin'iii ili-i' 

■Ibll-l-ii'i- li-cliiiiinl 

l-ti-iir I 
( )ii-Sili' Sci'V ici- 
1 .i-!isiiiti- 1 'mtrifiiii 

previously unheard of levels. As much as two times 
faster than a 386. 

Of course, with any Tandon Computer you also 
get prompt delivery, a one year 
limited warranty, on-site semce, 
and 24-hour, on-caU tech support. 
We even offer a special leasing 
program. And if for any reason you're 
not pleased, you can get a full refund 
within the first 30 days. 

So if you're interested in what has to 
be considered one of the fastest personal 
computers in the world call us today about 
our Tandon 486/33. Or ask about our 
386/33 for $3399 or 386/25 for just $3099. And be 
treated to one of three top performances daily. 


HE TXndon 486/25. 

Xniidon 486/33 • Price includes: System unit, 4MB RAM; 200MB 
IDE hard drive; 1.2MB or 1.44MB diskette drive; VGA monochrome moni- 
tor; 16-bit video card; keyboard; power cord; Microsoft® Windows'" 3.0, 
and serial mouse; operation and installation manual; Tandon MS-DOS soft- 
ware and manual. • Upgrade options: 2MB and 8MB memoiy 
upgrade kits (to 64MB); 330MB, 600MB, and 1GB SCSI hard disk drives; 
650MB ISO-approved optical drive and cartridge; VGA and SuperVGA 
color monitors; graphics accelerator card; 2400 baud modems; network 
cards; laser printers. Ihiidon 386/33 and liuidon 386/2S. • Price 
includes; System unit; 4MB RAM (Tandon 386/33); 2MB RAM (Tandon 
386/25); 110MB IDE hard drive; 1.2MB or 1.44MB diskette drive: VGA 
monochrome monitor; 16-bit video card; keyboard; power cord; Microsoft® 
Windows'" 3.0 and serial mouse; operation and installation manual; 
Tandon MS-DOS software and manual, o Upgrade options: 1MB and 
4MB memoiy upgrade kits (to 16MB); 80387 math coprocessor; additional 
1.2MB and 1.44MB diskette drives; 200MB IDE, 330MB ESDI hard 
drives; VGA and Super VGA color monitors; graphics accelerator card; 
2400 baud modems; network cards; laser printers. Tower models available. 
Please call for information. 

( )l 'I K ).N.S .\M ) (. 'I :KIX )M ( '( ).N1' K a I K ).NS 

• I liiiil l)i'i\<-.-.i. I)i>lu'iic 
:llui ( >|>l ic'iil I )riv<-!-; 

• .Mdili'llis * .'Vlilil iollill ( >|il inilK 

• Mc-miir-v i ;xi)imv;i<iii .\v;iiliihlc- ( )ii .Ml 

.^\St*MIIS. IMlNlSf ( 

• t f >i inu-t 'ss( )i's 

• \(;.\ Mini siipcT \(;.\ 

.Mon Mors. 


W W I 



FAX 805-529-8408 

Tandon reserves the right to amend specifications and prices without notsce. Tandon 486, Tandon 386, SL386sx, SL 4& 
LT/286, LT/386SX, 386SX/N, 286/N, Tandon Tower 386, Tandon Tower 486. PowefPoster, MutCCACHE and MIAT are 
trademarks of Tandon Corporation. Intel is a registered trademark of Intel Corporation. All ottier ptoducts or services are 
Identified by the trademaifcs or service marks of their respective compantes. Lease terms va/y by system. 
©1991 Taiidon Corporation, Moorpark, CA. 

Circle 294 on Inquiry Card. 


FEA for 

on the Mac 

FEHT, a finite element 
analysis program origi- 
nally designed to solve 
heat-transfer problems, is 
now available for solving 
problems in electrical engi- 
neering and civil en- 
gineering. It gives numerical 
solutions to the governing 
partial differential equations 
that describe conduction 
heat transfer, electromagnet- 
ic fields, potential flow, 
and other phenomena. The 
program provides a draw- 
ing environment for entering 
the 2-D problem, the finite 
element calculation proce- 
dure, and the ability to 
graphically display the 

The program runs on any 
Mac with 1 MB of RAM. 
Price: $400. 
Contact: F-Chart Soft- 
ware, 4406 Fox Bluff Rd. , 
Middleton, WI 53562, 
(608) 836-8536. 
Circle 1278 on Inquiry Card. 

Noteboolcs for 
tiie Mac, Unix 

HiQ is designed to re- 
place all the functions 
of an engineer's notebook 

riit- suiijutt 


FEHT generated this contour plot of temperatures of a nuclear 
reactor on the Mac. The program lets you assign varying degrees 
of fine meshing to your problem. 

as well as provide all the 
tools that an engineer would 
normally use. The program 
integrates management, de- 
sign and graphics, program- 
ming, engineering analysis, 
and data reduction. 

The HiQ core includes 
more than 500 math and 
graphical algorithms and 
more than 100 problem solv- 
ers. Word processing, ad- 
vanced numeric calculation 
capabilities, powerful 
scripting, 2-D and 3-D 
graphing, and networking 
facilities are included with 
the program. 

The program is available 
for the Mac SE/30 or higher 
and Sun workstations. Ver- 
sions are planned for the 
IBM RISC System/6000 
and DEC workstations. 

Price: Prelease price, $495; 
$695 thereafter. 
Contact: Bimillennium 
Corp., 101 Albright Way, 
Los Gatos, CA 95030, 
(800) 488-8662 or (408) 866- 
2010; fax (408) 866-2305. 
Circle 1 279 on Inquiry Card, 


The interface 
of HiQ resembles 
that of an engineer's 
notebook. You can 
"tear out "pages and 
combine them with 
other notebook elements. 

Estimate Naturai 
Radiation Effects 
in Space 

Space Radiation lets you 
model the effects of nat- 
ural radiation in space on 
digital electronics and 
humans. It estimates single- 
event error rates, radiation 
dose, and dose equivalent 
in any orbit, Severn Commu- 
nications says. 

Version 1 . 1 of the pro- 
gram handles cosmic rays, 
trapped protons, and solar 
particles. For satellite and 
communications design, the 
program can model the ef- 
fects of trapped electrons. 

Space Radiation runs on 
DOS-based systems with 
640KbytesofRAM. A 
math coprocessor is rec- 
Price: $2495. 
Contact: Severn Commu- 

nications Corp., 223 Ben- 
field Park Dr. , Millers- 
viUe, MD 21108, (301) 987- 
5236; fax (301) 987-3113. 
Circle 1 280 on Inquiry Card . 




athematica 2.0, a 
new version of the 
mathematical analysis pro- 
gram for the Mac, Unix 
workstations, and Win- 
dows, adds 283 functions, 
bringing its total to over 
800. The program now 
solves numerical differen- 
tial equations and has new 
programming capabilities, 
sound, and a faster compiler. 

A new set of functions 
relates to linear program- 
ming to solve optimization 
problems in operations re- 
search. Some of the new 
features work only on certain 
platforms; for example, the 
Mac, Sony, Next, and Sun 
computers, which have 
built-in sound capabilities, let 
you render data and func- 
tions in audible form; pub- 
lishing extensions to the 
Mac and Next let you create 
on-line books; and Mac, 
PC, and Windows users can 
simulate multitasking with 
Mathematica's concurrent 
processing feature. 

The programming lan- 
guage now includes tracing 
and debugging features and 
direct file manipulation. A 
new compiler can signifi- 
cantly increase execution 

Price: $595 to $30,000. 
Contact: Wolfram Re- 
search, 100 Trade Center 
Dr., Champaign, IL 61820, 
(217) 398-0700; fax (217) 

Circle 1281 on Inquiry Card. 

90 BYTE- MAY 1991 

iverything Y)u Ever Wanted In UNIX. 

And Less* '^99#95« 

OK. We know it's hard to 
believe. So just consider this. 
Coherent" is a virtual clone of UNIX. 
, But it was developed independently 
by Mark Williams Company Which 
means we don't pay hundreds of dol- 
lars per copy in licensing fees. 

What's more, Coherent embod- 
ies the original tenet of UNIX: small is 
beautiful. Ihis simple fact leads to a 
whole host of both cost and perform- 
ance advantages for Coherent. So 
read on, because there's a lot more to 
Coherent than its price. 

Everybody appreciates a good 
deal. But what is it that makes small 
so great? 

For one thing, Coherent gives 
you UNIX capabilities on a machine 
you can actually afford. Requiring 
only 10 megabytes of disk space. 
Coherent can reside with DOS. So 
you can keep all your DOS applica- 
tions and move up to Coherent. You 
can also have it running faster, learn it 
faster and get faster overall perform- 
ance. All because Coherent is small. 
Sounds beautiful, doesn't it? 

But small wouldn't be so great if 
it didn't do the job it was meant to do. 

Coherent For 

Santa Cniz 





and compatible 
286 or 386 

XENIX 286, 
Vereion 2.3.2 

based machines. 

No. of Manuals 



No. of Disks 



Kernel Size 



Install Time 

20-30 min. 

3-4 hours 

Suggested Disk Space 

10 meg 

30 meg 

Min. Memory Required 640K 

1-2 meg 


38.7 sec 

100.3 sec 




•Byte Execl benchmark, 1000 iterations on 20 MHZ 386. 

Hardware requirements: 1.2 meg 5 V4" or 1.4 meg 3VS>" floppy, and 
hard disk. Does not run on MicroChannel machines. 


Like the original UNIX, 
Coherent is a powerful multi-user, 
multi-tasking development system. 
With a complete UMX-compatible 
kernel which makes a vast world of 
UNIX software available including 
over a gigabyte of public domain 

Coherent also comes with Lex 
and Yacc, a complete C compiler and a 
full set of nearly 200 UNIX commands 
including text processing, program 
development, administrative and 
maintenance commands plus UUCE 


"Mark Williams Co. seem to have 
mastered the art of illusion; Coherent 
comes so fuUy qualified as a UNIX 
clone, you find yourself thinking 1 
can't believe it's not UNIX! " 

-Sean Fulton, UNIX Today!, 
November 26, 1990 

". . . ( Coherent) may be the best thing 

that has happened to UNIXyet." 

-William Zachmann, PC Week, 
November 5, 1990 

"If you want to come as close as you 
can to real UNIX for a low price, 
COHERENT can't be beat" 

-Warren Keuffel, Computer Language 
Magazine, November 1990 

"If you want a UNIX-like develop- 
ment and learning system for less 
than $100. . .1 don't see howyou can 
go wrong ivith Coherent." 

-David Fiedler, BYTE Magazine, 
November 1990 

Wondering how something as 
good as Coherent could come from 



-elvis: vi editor done 

-SCSI (Adaptec AHA 154x series 

and more on the way.) and 

ESDI support 

-UUCP Bulletin Board System 
-RAM disk support 
-And much, much morel 


nowhere? Well it didn't. It came from 
Mark Williams Company, people 
who've developed C compilers for 
DEC, htel, Wang and thousands of 
professional programmers. 

We make all this experience avail- 
able to users through complete techni- 
cal support via telephone. And from 
the original system developers, too! 

Yes, we know $99.95 may still 
be hard to believe. But we've made it 
fool-proof to find out for yourself. 
With a 60-day money-back no-hassles 

You have to be more than just a 
little curious about Coherent by now. 
So why not just do it? Pick up that 
phone and order today 

You'll be on your way to having 
everything you ever wanted in UNIX. 
And for a lot less than you ever 


(1-800-627-5967 or 1-708-291-6700) 

FAX: 1-708-291-6750 


Mark Williams 

60 Revere Drive 
Northbrook, IL 60062 

'Plus shipping and handling. Coherent is a trademark of Mark 
Williams Company. UNIX is a trademark of AT&T. XENIX is a 
h^demark of Microsoft. 



Two image 
and Document 

Symsoft's Hotshot 
ImageBase uses a TSR 
image finder/previewer to 
eliminate the frustrating and 
slow task of blindly loading 
images into Ventura Pub- 
lisher and most word pro- 

The program supports 
WordPerfect, Microsoft 
Word for DOS, Harvard 
Graphics, other applications, 
and 10 graphics file 
Price: $149. 

Contact: SymsoftCorp., 
924 Incline Way, Call Box 5, 
Incline Village, NV 89450, 
(702) 832-4300. 
Circle 1282 on Inquiry Card. 

he PixSure File Docu- 
J ment Imaging System 
lets you electronically cap- 
ture, store, manage, and re- 
trieve files, including let- 
ters, handwritten notes, 
forms, and all types of 
paper documents. You can 
retrieve documents with 
user-defined keywords such 
as names, dates, customer 
numbers, or other 

The program is designed 
for the Novell network 
Price: $1495. 

Contact: The Norick Com- 
panies, 5400 Northwest 
Grand Blvd., Suite 450, 
Oklahoma City, OK 73112, 
(800) 527-5764 or (405) 
947-7560; fax (405) 

Circle 1 283 on Inquiry Card. 

Easy Backup 
for OS/2 PM 

Irwin Magnetic Systems' 
new OS/2-based backup 
software for stand-alone 
and networked PCs takes ad- 

Opsl! fiip Edit Uicu Cii.iptcr fr.ino P.iiMpiMph (irapluc Ontionc 

Hotaltiit ItumoFlndor 


(flrfri HcM Fmnc): 



R l'5 5 0001 : : 

Colors: le 

All riios 

IM' i>'MfSiM:t(i;fi(iY cc-H 

Copi(pr»lit (C) 1996 SMiiSoft 

The HotShot ImageBase displaying a Harvard Graphics chart 
prior to auto-loading into Ventura Publisher. 

vantage of Presentation 
Manager and OS/2's multi- 
threading and multitasking 
capabilities to launch back- 
ground sessions. 

You can select files while 
the software loads a backup 
tape. An integrated library 
gives you on-line access to 
directory information from 
all your tapes and backups. 

EzTape PM incorporates 
the Stac Electronics algo- 
rithm for increasing the ca- 
pacity of a tape drive and 
supports all versions of 
OS/2, including High Perfor- 
mance File System support- 
ing OS/2. 

Other features include 
automatic unattended back- 
up, multiple hard disk vol- 
ume backup, and two levels 
of data protection (pass- 
word and encryption). 
Price: $329. 

Contact: Irwin Magnetic 
Systems, Inc., 2101 Com- 
monwealth Blvd. , Ann Ar- 
bor, MI 48105,(313) 930- 
9000; fax (313) 995-8287. 
Circle 1284 on Inquiry Card. 

Recover from 
Unix Craslies 

' ith the new Veritas 
« _ File System (VxFS) 
and the Veritas Volume 
Manager (VxVM), Veritas 
provides a flexible, high- 
performance commercial file 
system for Unix. VxVM 
provides on-line reconfigura- 
tion, striping, spanning, 
and disk mirroring. VxFS 
provides fast recovery from 

The Veritas system main- 
tains a log of intended 
changes to the descriptive 
data that accompanies Unix 
files, clearing entries from 
the log as they are written to 
disk. If, after a system 
crash, the Veritas software 
finds leftover entries in the 
log, it simply writes them to 
disk. As a result, the maxi- 
mum time to restore even a 
disk drive of 1 gigabyte is 
about 15 seconds. Traditional 
Unix restoration methods 
might require 30 minutes. 


Your new product is important to us. Please address information 
to New Products Editors, BYTE, One Phoenix Mill Lane, Peter- 
borough, NH 03458. Better yet, use your modem and mail new 
product information to the microbytes.hw or microbytes.sw 
conferences on BIX. Please send the product description, price, 
ship date, and an address and telephone number where readers 
can get more information. 

The system lets you reor- 
ganize file systems into con- 
tiguous blocks while the 
disk is being used. When 
used together with the logi- 
cal volume manager, you can 
expand file systems while 
they're still active. 

At a lower level, the file 
system's behavior can be 
tuned by applications when 
a certain type of I/O is ex- 
pected. This mechanism 
allows database managers 
and other disk-intensive ap- 
plications to avoid the direct- 
to-disk approach that is 
commonly taken to work 
around the file system. 
Price: Prices depend on 
system. VxFS, from $1200 to 
$18,000; VxVM, from 
$1000 to $15,000. 
Contact: Veritas Software 
Corp. , 4800 Great America 
Pkwy., Suite 420, Santa 
Clara, CA 95054, (408) 727- 
1222; fax (408) 562-4334. 
Circle 1 285 on Inquiry Card . 

DOS Memory 
at 952K Bytes 

il emory Commander, 
Wi a DOS memory man- 
agement utility for 386 and 
486 computers, lets you free 
up memory by moving TSR 
programs and device drivers 
into high memory between 
640Kandl024K bytes. De- 
pending on your system's 
video configuration, the util- 
ity can provide up to 952K 
bytes of contiguous memory 
for use by your application. 

The program lets you 
configure up to five memory 
models. Once you install 
Memory Commander, it se- 
lects the best model for the 
application without requiring 
Price: $99.95. 
Contact: V Communica- 
tions, Inc., 4320 Stevens 
Creek Blvd., Suite 275, San 
Jose, CA95128, (408)296- 
4224; fax (408) 296-4441. 
Circle 1286 on Inquiry Card. 

92 BYTE • MAY 1991 


■ ■ 

I ■ ■ ■ 

■ ■II 

.'.I I! 



' 1 ! \ 


WeVe got Notebooks ! In stock, ready-to-ship . . . 
with more features (for less!) than the competition. 

The compact Inmac NB/386sx not 
only boasts the 20MHz Intel 
80386SX processor (the highest 
level of power you can get in a battery- 
powered notebook today), it costs thou- 
sands of dollars less than most others in 
its class. And thaf s just starters! You also 
get a 30MB IDE hard drive, a 3.5" inter- 
nal floppy drive, 2MB of memory 
(expandable to a whopping 16MB), plus 
three hours of battery Ufe. Not bad for a 
6.5 lb. machine as small as this page. 

It's versatile, too! With one parallel 
port and two serial ports, you can plug 
in a wide combination of devices, like a 
printer, mouse, graphic tablet or modem. 
At the office, you can even communicate 
with your company's larger computer. 
The standard features on this full-func- 
tioning computer would be options on 

other computers. 

It's small, but its extra large 9-inch, 
non-glare VGA display makes even the 
most complex graphics easy to read. The 
paper-white screen is specially designed 
to reduce eye strain. It provides a sharp, 
bright image displaying up to 32 shades 
of gray, using triple, super-twist LCD 

Best of all, you'll get our 
complete Inmac support: 
guaranteed on-time deliv- 
ery; 45-day free trial; 1-year 
performance guarantee and 

toll-free technical assistance. 

So if you need a great little portable 
with desktop performance at a great 
price. our special computer order 
line today and discuss the new Inmac 
NB/386sx. And ask about our Model 60 
NB/ 386SX with a 60MB hard drive for 
only $3995. Both are outstanding values. 



386 sx/20 

Compaq LTE 

Tl Travelnnate 

Max RAM 




Base RAM 




Hard Drive 




H.D. Option 









8.5"D.x11"L.x 2.1"H. 







Carrying Case 

Leather (included) 

Nylon ($89) 

Vinyl/Cloth ($99) 





njst price published by Hard Fads, Beverly, MA. Dec. 1990. 

Only S.5 x 11 " yet packed with 20MHz of power; 2MB ofexpandble memory 
(up to 16MB); }ion-glare, paper-white VGA screen — and a sensational price. 


Exclusive computer ordering number 

We finally found the perfect computer for you to use with all 
yourlnmac accessories. 
They're business computers built from the ground up to Inmac's 
specifications by Tandon. A 15 year-old computer company which has the same 
reputation for excellence and outstanding quality that Inmac is known for. 

These computers are not just IBM "clones". Tandon engineering has produced over 
16 patented features making them among the fastest, and most powerful machines 
available. And you get aU this at prices immatched by anything in their class. 

Please take this time to learn more about our new Inmac business computers. Then 
caU 800-800-8870. You'U get a PC with aU the features, power, and support you expect 
from Inmac. 

Introducing Inmac 

From laptops to desktops, the best 

all 800-800-8870, ii s(x\ial tcill-fii'i' 
■ iiiimlvr Inniiif hos ri'si-rvi-tl jusl 
^^^^ fiircompulorordiTs. You'll it-icivi' 
thf siinic kind iif pi'isiniiil sri-vicL" cind 

Try it free for 45 days. It' you'ro dlssiilis- 
(xvii with your LomputLT for nny rt'osim, 
ivturn it within 45 days for ii full refund. 
No qui'slions dskt-d. 

Full yLMr performance gunranlec. 1 iiis 
j^u.irtinlfo is backed by on-sito sorvifL-. If 
iinvthinj;goL"S wrong with your PC, wi- Ciin 
I'vcn ronif to youi' offic o iind fix it. 

I-ulI technical support is just a toll-free 
call away. If you i'vlt luw my iiufHtlons 
iiboul tlu' opiTiilion of your Inmac compu- 
ter, a .sinipk' loll-frt'c call puts you in touch 
with our pi.M hon.ll technical assi'itance. This 
seivice i^. manned by expei'ts wiio know your 
computer inside and out. They'll talk with 
you as lonj^as it lakes to .solvi-anv problem. 

Delivered when promised. Your com- 
puter is guaranteed to bi- delivered whi;n 
prt)mist'il. If il isn't, you get a credit on 
your next Inmac purchase. 

And now, a terrific free offer. In addi- 

luin to .VlS-tXl'i' on liini.ic ciunpuleis, 
most mmpiitei-i vou crJer with 2.VIH or 
more of niemoi v I'onic i oinplelc with 
Mitriisoff Window'" ,^.(1 and a iiuiiise, 
so vou laii get started inimcdialely. This 
is a Ireineiuliius su ings you'll only j'.el 
from Inmae. 

So look through this booklet anil choose 
the computer that bi'st suits your neeils. 
■| hen call H(10-S()()-«87() and gel reaily to 
own oni' ol the best personal computer 
values around. Inmac makes it easy, everv 
step of the way. 




Yovir corporate communica- 
tions can reach an all time 
high with an office net- 
working system using the Inmac 
386sVN. This is a hi^-quality PC 
with built-in savings that could 
mean the difference between net- 
working your whole office, or just 
half of it. 

Beyond a great price, $1,199, 
you get a great machine. The sleek 
386s)0Sr boasts the 32-bit power 
of the INTEL® 80386sx processor 
so it will run aU of your existing 
applications faster, and let you 
take advantage of advanced multi- 
tasking software and applications. 
It also has one of the highest rates 
of computing power per cubic inch. 

You'll find this compact compu- 
ter is loaded with aU the features 
a good networking work station 
requires. Like a 16-MHz speed 
processor, 1MB of RAM, diskette 
and disVcontroUers, a math 

With these prices and features, th 
wiU have vour whole office ta 


Tower 486/33 EISA, seepage 7, ideal 
as a local area network file sewer, it's 
unbeatable for speed, expandability and 

SL 386/20, see page 9, full power in 
a sleek design that can be upgraded 
to a 486. 

386sx/N, see page H, Iws one of the 
highest rates of computing power per 
cubic inch. 

From ^959 to %199 

Wlien you call to order an Inmac computer, you'll talk to 
one of our helpful, knowledgable people. But before they 
make any suggestions, they do one very important thing. 
Tliey listen. 

coprocessor socket on the main- 
board, and built-in VGA Stat 
Graphics. There is even an option- 
al 3.5 inch, 1.44MB high-density 
diskette drive, as well as a 40MB 
hard drive for even more power 

As your business grows, so do 
the demands on your computer 
system. That's why we made the 
Irunac 386sx/N easily expandable. 
For instance, the standard 1MB 
RAM can be readily upgraded to 
8MB onboard, and to a maximum 
16MB using an expansion card. 

So, if you're interested in net- 
working your company with a 
high-quality system for an out- 

business computers. 

supported computers you can own. 

Wlten you buy an hmiac computer, all of the 
great people at Inmac and Tandou stand behind it. 




The Inmac EFSSesx™ may 
look like a laptop, but it 
may easily be the only per- 
sonal computer that you'll ever 

INMAC 286 LAPTOP Memory Options 

1MB 3MB 


1MB-* 5MB 


INMAC 386SX LAPTOP Memory Options 

1 MB -♦3MB 


1 MB-»5MB 


need. That's because this portable 
little machine has the power and 
features to rival most desktops. 

The LT/386sx boasts a gener- 
ous 40MB IDE hard disk and a 32- 
bit 386SX processor operating at 16 
MHz. It also utilizes selectable 
ROM shadowing which executes 
ROM-based instructions much 
faster by copying them to RAM. 

Your lap wiU also get the luxury 
of outstanding graphic resolution 
from the bacWit VGA mono- 
chrome display. And our dual- 
panel LCD technology not only 
makes this display one of the 
brightest of any laptop, but also 
delivers a video refresh rate which 
PC Magazine calls "among the 
fastest in its class." That's good 
news for those of you who use 
Microsoft® Windows™, CAD 
software, desktop publishing, 
and other powerful graphic 

And if you're wondering how 

jw you can get the body of 
and the brains of a deskt 

Our computers are some of the fastest PCs in the world. 
And that goes for delivery as well. Our shipping team 
guarantees your delivery date. And it's usually within five 
days or less. 

expandable the LT/386sx is, we 
have more good news. It comes 
with support for an external flop- 
py drive, serial and parallel ports, 
up to 5MB of memory, and a pro- 
prietary 16-bit slot with AT® 
bus signals. 

Our LT/286 is another out- 
standing laptop system. In fact, 
it's one of the only 80286 laptops 
able to offer 286 performance 
enhanced by selectable ROM 

So, if you're interested in a 
powerful little computer with a 
price to match, call us today about 
our LT/386SX for just $2,499, or 
our LT/286 for $1,999. You'll like 
their bodies, and you'll love 
their minds. 


640 X 4S0 

800 X 600 

1024 X 763 

















1MB-»2MB-$130 1MB-t3MB-$200 












2MB-»3MB=$70 2MB-»5MB-$270 

powered, low-profile computer 
with the ability to become even 
more powerful, call us today 
about the Inmac SL 386sx/20 
Slimline for $1,899. 

Or for even more power right 
now, check out the Inmac SL 486 
which crunches data a I a lorrid 23 
MHz, and is onl> '^'SHm. Which- 
ever slimline you i jtisi 
might be the last compiiU-r \ on 
ever have to buy. 

The SL386SX/20 Slimline 
design gives you more room on 
your desk and more power at 
your fingertips. 


f / , / I . I I f I 

IMf' f t I ! 1 l ~ I 


Microprocessor and Main Board: Intel 80386SX run- 
ning at either 8 or 20 ivIHz. Main board has socket for 
80387SX math coprocessor 
Memory; 1 MB memory standard; expandable on- 
board to SMB. 1 6MB system maximum. 
Storage: 1.2MB. 5.25 inch, high density double sided 
diskette drive. OR 1 .44MB, 3.5 inch, high densitiy 
double sided diskette drive. 40MB IDE hard drive. 
Keyboard: 101-key enhanced layout. 
Video: 1 6-bit VGA adapter VKith 256KB RAM, expand- 
able to 51 2KB. 1 4 inch VGA monochrome display 
Call for information on our SL 386s)^16 Slimline. 

Microprocessor and Main Board: Intel 80486 run- 
ning at either 8 or 25 MHz. 
Memory: 2MB memory standard; expandable on- 
board to 5MB. 16MB system maximum. 
Storage: 1 .2MB, 5.25 inch, high density double sided 
diskette drive. OR 1 .44MB, 3.5 inch, high density dou- 
ble sided diskette drive. 1 1 0MB IDE hard drive. 
Keyboard: 101-key enhanced layout. 
Video: 16-blt VGA adapter with 256KB RAM, expand- 
able to 512KB. 14 inch VGA monochrome display 

With the Inmac SL 486/25, the same sleek, 
slimline design is processing your data even faster. 


The compact, low-profile, 
Inmac SL 386sV20 Slimline 
has features that make it a 
powerful computer to begin with, 
plus the processor can be up- 
graded to grow with your business . 

The SL 386sx/20 Slimline uses 
the Intel® 80386sx chip with full 
32-bit internal processing power. 
That means it wiU run aU of your 
existing applications faster. And 

With an Inmac Computer you're never alone. Our tech 
support team is a simple toll-free call away to help you with 
any problem. And because problems are fm ana far 
betiueen, they'll probably talk your arm off 

its 386 instruction set lets you take 
fuU advantage of advanced multi- 
tasking software and applications. 

This sleek package also sports 
an exclusive Tandon MIAT™ 
(Mapper-Integrated AT) chip to 
supply you with a higher level of 
systems integration. 

And finally, the Inmac SL 
386sx/20 boasts outstanding fea- 
tures like communication ports 
and mass storage controllers resi- 
dent on the mainboard. So if you 
ever need more memory, the 1MB 
in our standard configuration can 
be expanded to 5MB on board, 
with a 16MB system maximum 
using an expansion card. 

And if you need even more 
power down the road, take ad- 
vantage of the Inmac Processor 
Upgrade Program. Your SL 386sx 
can become a 486 at a fraction of 
the cost of a new computer. 

If you're interested in a high- 

Monochrome bacWit LCD 
video display with 16 shades 
of gray that can be set to 
write dark characters on light 
background, or light 
characters on dark. 





A 32-bit 386SX processor 
operating at 16 MHz. 

You start with 1MB RAM and a 
hard drive, and you still have roora 




/ \ your Inmac Slimline can grow to meet them, 
^ ^ Ttie Inmac Processor Upgrade Program 
Will biKi*i[ voui Si 'iMd-'X Mp til (1 SI -IHfi, nr I'l-yDPil 
'I'*; Wi i\u<v {hv Innidc Siiiniiiu- l.iiniiv ilv 
s]^M(.'i.l .inniiiJ IditLliin's ('\p,i[uI.iNi> i-ompiitiT 
.in liifu Uiir. 

Instead of replacing the entire computer, let 
Inmac's Processor Upgrade Program give you all the 
power you need wliile saving you thousands of dol- 
l.'irs. i'pi cNi'iinpii', VON I fin npj',i.idr vtuir hiin.u' SI. 
■iSf>s\/;.() to an liiin.u- SI -If-f)/ .">.="» f(ir unly Sl,8yS. 

How your Slirnline can grow v^th 
The Inmac Upgrade Program. 

Yuu'il pioh'thlv (iKo ^:)V(> llif inanv htuirs vou mi^ht 
[uirin.tllv spi-iul<-fi'rrii)}; Mittuoic diiil to set 
up a new system. 

Sti ordrr <iM iMm.'u Slimline now, .wid you'll In.' 
■ibk- lo l^cep lip liidiitt' with ni-w tt\ hnoKi}'^', .is il's 
dc\do|.H'd. Willi till' InriMc. IVtKcssor Upj^r.idc I'ni- 
>;rcini, tlu-rr's reiillv no hinil to liow iniu h your 
system can grow. 

3. laptop, 

82-key keyboard emiiLiU 
101-key keyboard with 
embedded keypad and 
hmction keys. 

40 MB IDE 
hard drive. 

Yotir sign of quality. 

Lightweight and compact (jusl 14..i /(>■- imil mil\/ 12./ m. v B.6 d. .v .14 li) 
either Imiinc Laptop provides you with desktop power amjzvha e you go. 


Microprocessor and Main Board; Intel® 80386sx 

running at eltlier 6 or 16 MHz. Main board lias socket 

for an optional math coprocessor. 

Memory; 1MB memory standard, expandable to SMB. 

Storage; 1.44MB, 3.5 Inch, high density, double 

sided diskette drive. 40MB IDE hard drive, port for 

external 1.2MB diskettedrive. 

Keyboard; 82 key layout emulates 101-key keyboard 

v^ith embedded keypad and 1 2 function keys; system 
supports external keyboard and external 10-key key- 
pad: system expansion: serial and parallel ports. 
Proprietary 16-bit slot with AT bus signals. 

Video; Built-in VGA monitor adapter Dual panel EL 
backlit monochrome VGA liquid crystal display. 1/0 
port to support external VGA monitor. 
Call for information on our LT/286 Laptop. 

Tlie LT/286 can go everywhere the 
LT/386SX goes, just not quite as fast. 


In addition to being some of the most ad- 
vanced PCs around, tliese desktops offer 
you prices tliat are aliead of their time. Like 
the 486/33 EISA for example. At $7,199 it's one 
of the fastest personal computers in the world. 
This is the machine PC Computing magazine 
calls "slick, amazingly fast, innovative, and rea- 
sonably priced by 486 standards". 

Unlike other 486-based systems with plug-in 
CPU boards, the 486/33 is built from the ground 
up aroimd the top-of-the-lrne Intel® 80486 pro- 
cessor Then to make things even more 
powerful, you also get the Tandon exclusive 
MultiCACHE™, an incredible 64k external 
cache that accelerates processor read 

And we didn't stop there. We pushed tech- 
nology even further for you with Tandon's 
innovative PowerPoster™. A unique write buf- 
fer that accepts data at zero wait states from the 
486 chip, then bursts most write operations to 
RAM at four times the rate of unenhanced 486 
write transfers. 

To make things really fly, we combined a 64- 
bit bus (double the width) with the latest EISA 
tpchnology to boost peripheral performance to 
previously unheard of levels. As much as 
two times faster than a 386. 

All Inmac desktops feature 
built-in System BIOS, exclusive 
to Tandon. This proven BIOS 
performs routine BIOS functions 
(setting date, time, language, etc.) 
and takes convenience one step 
further, functioning as a single- 
screen system setup utility by 


640 X 480 


1024 X 768 

















2MB-»4MB=$200 2MB-»8MB=$560 

















4MB-»8MB=$370 4MB-»16MB=$1,050 






















4MB-8MB-$460 4MB-»16MB=$1,340 
4MB -» 32MB -$2,890 4MB->40MB=$3,710 

Die 386/33 Desktop. Speed and power at 
a price youH love. 

Here are the brains of our computers. TIxe Taitdon 
engineers who produced more than 16 patents, many of 
which youll find in our Inmac line of computers. 



automatically configuring the diskette drive, 
memory expansion, and security. 

So, if you're interested in a computer with 
remarkable speed and power at a reasonable 
price, call Inmac today. Ask about our 486/33 or 
other desktops, and become better acquainted 
with these industry leaders. 

These desktops set several 
of the highest standards in the industry: 
Fortunatel)^ price isn't one of them. 

The Inmac 486/33 EISA Desktop gets more done from 9 to 5 faster than ever before. 


Microprocessor and Main Board: Intel 80386 run- 
ning at either Bor33MHz. Main board has socket for 
Intel 80387 or Weltek™ 31 67 math coprocessor. 
Memory: 4MB of standard memory, expandable to 
16MB of 32-blt memory. 

Storage: 1.2 MB, 5.25 Inch, high density double 
sided diskette drive, OR 1.44MB, 3.5 Inch, high densi- 
ty double sided diskette drive. 1 10MB IDE hard drive. 
l<eyboard: 101 -key enhanced layout. 
Video: 16-bit VGA adapter with 256KB RAM, expand- 
able to 51 2KB. 1 4 Inch VGA monochrome display 
Call for information on our 386/25 Desktop. 

Microprocessor and Main Board: Intel 80486 run- 
ning at either 8 or 25 MHz. Main board accepts a 
Weltek 4167 coprocessorto coexist with the 80486's 
built-in math coprocessor 

Memory: 4MB memory expandable to 64MB of 64-bit 

Storage: 1.2MB, 5.25 Inch, high density double sided 
diskette drive, OR 1 .44MB, 3.5 Inch, high density 
double sided diskette drive. 200MB IDE hard drive. 
Keyboard: 101-key enhanced layout. 
Video: 1 6-bit VGA adapter with 256KB RAM, expand- 
able to 512KB. 14 Inch VGA monochrome display 
Call for Information on our 486/33 Desktop. 

Microprocessor and Main Board: Intel 80386 run- 
ning at either 8 or 33 MHz. Main board has socket for 
Intel 80387 or Weltek 3167 math coprocessor. 
Memory: 4MB standard memory, expandable to 
16MB of 32-blt memory 

Storage: 1 .2MB, 5.25 inch, high density, double sided 
diskette drive. AND 1 .44MB, 3.5 Inch, high density 
double sided diskette drive. 200MB IDE hard drive. 

Keyboard: 101-key enhanced layout. 
Video: 1 6-blt VGA adapter with 256KB RAM, expand- 
able to 512KB. 14 Inch VGA monochrome display 

Microprocessor and Main Board: Intel 80486 run- 
ning at either 8 or 25 MHz. Main board accepts a 
Weltek 41 67 coprocessor to coexist with the 80486's 
built-in math coprocessor. 
Memory: 4MB memory standard; expandable to 
64MB of 64-bit memory. 

Storage: 1.2MB, 5.25 inch, high density double sided 
diskette drive. AND 1 .44MB, 3.5 Inch, high density 
double sided diskette drive. 200 MB IDE hard drive. 
Keyboard: 101-key enhanced layout. 
Video: 16-bit VGA adapter with 256KB RAM, expand- 
able to612KB. 14 Inch VGA monochrome display 
Gail for Information on our Tandon Tower 486/33. 


640 X 480 

800 X 600 























4MB->8MB-$370 4MB->16MB=$1,050 






















4MB-t9MB-$450 4MB-»16MB-$1,340 
4MB-t32MB=$2,890 4MB-<40MB-$3,710 

You can also get the performance of our 
desktops, with even more features, in 
free-standing units that fit conveniently 
under your desk. 

The/ re the Inmac 386 and 486 Towers. 
Incredibly fast and versatile machines that are 
ideal for use as local area network file servers 
with our N-series work stations. They're also 
excellent performers for multitasking, complex 
graphics, and large spreadsheets. 

So, put the power of a mainframe under your 
desk and at your fingertips with the Inmac 
Towers. Whether you use them as file servers 
for your network, or as single user processors, 
these computers stand for high performance. 

With the Tower 486/33 EISA you can 
run an entire netiuork with a commanding 
presence next to your desk. 


The MetaWare Extended-DOS High C ' Global. 
is for developing mission-critical applications th 

't - J 


640 X 460 



















1MB->2MB-$126 1MB-t4MB-$276 

INMAC 386s>g'N 
















1MB-t2MB-$126 1MB-»4MB-$276 
1MB -•8MB -$676 

standing price, call us today and 
ask about the Inmac 386sx/N. 

Or ask about the $959 Inmac 
286/N which has many of the 
same features, but is built around 
the 80286 processor. Either way, 
you'll start some very interesting 
conversations aroimd the office. 

e N-series 



/ / 


/ / / / ' f i i i 

/ , / / / r I I I 
/ f r f f I r 
. / / / / f I r I 
/ / f I r I I 

Ideal as a netivork station, making connections at 
the office has never been easier than with tlie 386sx/N. 

Microprocessor and Main Board: InteP 80386sx 
running at eitlier BorlBMHz. Main board iias socket 
for 80387SX math coprocessor. 
Memory: 1 MB memory standard: expandable on- , 
board to 8MB. 1 6MB system maximum. 
Keyboard: 101 -key enhanced layout. 

Video: Built-in VGA adapter 14 inch VGA mono- 
chrome display 

Options: 1.44MB, 3,5 inch, high density diskette 
drive, 40MB IDE hard drive. 
Additional options available, please call for details. 
Call for Information on our 286/N Low Profile Net- 
work Station starting at $1099, 

With file 286/N you get many oftiie 
same features as tlie 386sx/N for fewer dollars 


ow that you've learned about our new computers, we invite you to pick up 
the phone and call our toll-free computer ordering number, 800-800-8870. 

Configured the way you want it 
and deMvered when you need it. 

Not only wiH we configure your machine to yom exact 
specifications, we'll also deliver it to you on time, guar- 
anteed. In fact, if we don't get your computer on your 
desk by the time we've promised, we'U give you a $50 
credit on your next Inmac purchase. 

Free 45-day trial period. 

Because we want you to be absolutely positive that 
you're totally satisfied with your new computer, we 
provide a 45-day free trial period. If for any reason at aU 
you're not pleased, ju^t return it and get a fuH refund, no 
questions asked. 

1-year performance guarantee. 

You'll be happy to know you also get a one-year 
performance guarantee backed by on-site service. If any- 
thing ever goes wrong with your PC, we can even come 
right out to your office and fix it for you. 

Toll-free technical supports 

And if you have any questions about the operation of 
your Inmac computer, just make a simple toU-free call to 
our technical support team. They know your computer 
from top to bottom and wOl stay on the phone with you 
as long as it takes to answer any question or solve 
any problem. 

Additional value for 
Inmac customers. 

There's one more thing we know you'll love. Not only 
do all Inmac business computers come with MS-DOS® 
but also every Inmac 386 and 486 Desktop and Tower 
system ptirchased with 2MB or more also comes with 
Microsoft® Windows™ 3 . and a mouse. 
That's a real savings. 

Take advantage of some of the best personal com- 
puter values around, and call our toll-free computer or- i 
dering hotline right now, 800-800-8870. You not only get 
an extremely high quality and competitively priced com- 
puter, but also dependable Inmac support every step of | 
the way. 

Call now, 800-800-8870. 
Our sales reps are waiting. 

(And so is your computer.) 























Drive kit, rails, mounting hardware Included. * Drive controller not included. 









Drive l<lt, rails, mounting hardware Included. 


















16 BIT 256KB 

















DIMENSIONS: 10.9" H X 13.4" W X 13.2" D. WEIGHT: 33.5 LBS 

Prices do not include shipping and liandling costs. Sales Tax added where applicable. 

Inmac will custom cortfigure your Inmac PC before it is 
shipped. Most systems are priced as complete systems with 
CPU, memory, hard drive and diskette drive. Call oiir 
sales representative today to configure a system to your 
memory requirements. 



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Professional software developers live and 
breatiie in challenging development environments 
unknown to most programmers. As a matter of 
irvival, these Pioneers depend on the precision, 
performance, and portability that only MetaWare 
delivers. The superior reliability and functionality of our 
quality compilers and tools allow these Explorers to 
navigate unfamiliar development terrain with confidence. 

But even the best tools are not enough. You need a close, 
professional relationship with the veteran team that pioneered 
Extended-DOS compilers way back in 1 986; this technical support 
is the best "Life support" available today. MetaWare now extends 
your development horizons with two choices in compiler technology. 
Both Loca//y and G/oda//y optimized technologies support the new 
MetaWare 32-bit Source-Level Debugger. 

To learn more about how MetaWare can 
help you survive in your environment, or to 
place an order, call now. 

MetaWare® v\/\a 



Compiler Products for 
Professional Software Developers 

2161 Delaware Avenue » Santa Cruz, CA » 95060-5706 • 408/429-6382 ' FAX 408/429-9273 

MetaWare, High 0, and Professional Pascal are registered trademarks of MetaWare Incorporated. Other names are trademarks of their respective companies. 

© Copyright 1 991 MetaWare Incorporated 

Circle 61 8 on Inquiry Card. MAY 1991 'BYTE 92PC-1 


Instead of requiring you to run cables through your office, 
InfraLAN relies on an infrared base unit that supports up to four 
computers and two optical nodes for sending and receiving 
signals from other base units. Optical range lists at 80 feet. 

BICC's Wireless 
LAN Sees Red 

Pne of the advantages of 
wireless LANs, com- 
pared with their cabled 
cousins, is quick setup and 
dismantling. BICC takes 
that a step further with its In- 
fraLAN system, based on 
infrared technology. It says 
the advantage of an infrared 
LAN over a radio alternative 
is the signal is less prone to 
fading, distortion, and timing 
problems. Also, FCC in- 
volvement isn't required. 

InfraLAN is transparent 
to the user and meets the 
IEEE 802.5 Token Ring 
standard. The product con- 
sists of a base unit that sup- 
ports up to six terminals and 
two optical nodes, one for 
incoming and the other for 
outgoing data signals. The 
Token Ring version supports 
4-Mbps and 16-Mbps 
speeds and works with off- 
the-shelf network interface 
cards, servers, and bridges, 
the company says. If the 
signal path is blocked, the 
token ring automatically re- 
verses direction and uses a 
backup signal path. 
Price: One six-port hub 
and two transceivers, 

Contact: BICC Communi- 
cations, 103 Millbury St., 
Auburn, MA 01501, (508) 
832-8650; fax (508) 

Circle 1000 on Inquiry Card. 

RadioLink Hops 
Down the Trail 

alifornia Microwave 's 
wireless LAN uses 
spread-spectrum technol- 
ogy, but with a twist: Instead 
of using the direct sequence 
spreading, it employs fre- 
quency hopping, a tech- 
nique the company says 
improves immunity from 
interference. The RadioLink 
network, which operates at 

250,000 bps, permits eight 
subnetworks to operate in 
the same area. 

RadioLink transceivers 
offer up to eight ports for 
connecting any device with 
a RS-232, RS-449/422, RS- 
485, LocalTalk, Ethernet, 
or V.35 interface. The sys- 
tem can broadcast omnidi- 
rectional signals in a 500- 
foot radius indoors and as 
much as 5 miles across unob- 
structed space, the com- 
pany claims. 

Frequency hopping is an 
alternative technique for 
modulating signals within 
the same frequency bands al- 
lotted by the FCC for 
spread-spectrum communi- 
cations. Unlike direct se- 

quencing, which encodes 
transmissions by spreading 
a low signal across the band 
according to a prescribed 
code, frequency hopping 
causes the signal to jump 
around from one frequency 
to another. 

One version of the prod- 
uct operates in the 902- to 
928-MHz band, while the 
other runs at 2400 MHz to 
2483 MHz. 

Price: From $3450 for a 
one-port lower-frequency 
transceiver to $5280 for an 
eight-port higher-frequency 

Contact: California Micro- 
wave, Inc., 985 Almanor 
Ave., Sunnyvale, CA 
94086, (408) 732-4000; fax 
(408) 732-4244. 
Circle 1001 on Inquiry Card. 

for Windows 

1 penConnect Systems 
^ (formerly Mitek Sys- 
tems) and Future Soft Engi- 
neering have jointly de- 
veloped DynaComm/Open- 
Connect 5250, an IBM 5250 
terminal-emulation soft- 
ware package that runs under 
Windows 3.0. 

IBM 5250 is the terminal 
protocol used for AS/400 
midrange systems. The 
package allows full 5250 em- 
ulation across TCP/IP and 
includes full color support, a 
keyboard mapping facility, 
font scaling, and an applica- 
tion programming interface 
and scripting language for 
developing graphical front 

Price: $495. 

Contact: OpenConnect 

Systems, Inc., 2033 Chen- 

nault Dr., Carrolltoh, TX 

75006, (214) 490-4090; fax 

(214) 490-5052. 

Circle 1 002 on Inquiry Card. 

Eicon Technology's In- 
teractive Terminal Inter- 
face lets Windows 3.0 users 
on a NetWare or NetBIOS 
LAN access remote ASCII 
hosts through an X.25 packet 
assembler/disassembler . 

ITI works with the Ei- 
conCard, an X.25 gateway 
that is installed in a LAN 
communications server. ITI 
is loaded into client com- 
puters along with Eicon's Ac- 
cess X.25 software and the 
Windows Terminal program 
or another ASCII terminal- 
emulation package. 
Price: $50 for a stand-alone 
computer or $200 per 

Contact: Eicon Technol- 
ogy Corp., 2196 32nd Ave., 
Montreal, Quebec, Cana- 
da, H8T 3H7,(514) 631- 
2592; fax (514) 631-3092. 
Circle 1003 on Inquiry Card. 

92PC-2 BYTE • MAY 1991 

XHlBlTlOfsi 9- 





~ JUNE 3 TO JUNE 6 ~ 


Circle613on Inquiry Card. all irjAntHARKs are the propektv or iheir respecuve owners. 



Focus/EIS lets you manage your business using data from a 
variety of mainframes and databases under Windows 3. 0. 

Under Windows 

P ilot Executive and In- 
formation Builders have 
combined forces to provide 
Focus/EIS, a Windows exec- 
utive-information interface 
for presenting data collected 
by IB's PC/Focus applica- 
tion-development delivery 

PC/Focus offers user-in- 
terface functions, a screen 
painter, a report painter, 
file-description generators, 
utilities, and communica- 
tions capabilities. With 
PC/Focus 5.5, you can per- 
form cooperative processing 
with data stored on DB2, 
mainframes. The program 
can also access dBASE, 
1-2-3, word processing, and 
Symphony files. 

On the client side, IB 
offers several products for 
running the system on 
Novell, IBM, 3Com, and Un- 
germann-Bass networks. 
You can also run the system 
on OS/2 and, with the 
Focus for SQL Server inter- 
face, read and write SQL 
Server data. Focus/EIS re- 
quires PC/Focus or PC/Fo- 
cus Plus, a 386 with 2 MB of 
RAM, and a VGA monitor. 
Price: Focus/EIS, $895; 
PC/Focus, $1298. 
Contact: Information 
Builders, Inc., 1250 Broad- 
way, New York, NY 

10001, (800) 848-8683 or 
(212) 736-4433; fax (212) 

Circle 1005 on Inquiry Card. 

interactive PC 
Statistics and 


I ■ tatgraphics, STSC's 
_ ^ PC statistics package for 
academicians and execu- 
tives with at least a basic 
understanding of statistics, 
offers integrated statistics 
and graphics modules and 
the ability to interactively 
manipulate and edit data 
through the graphs. 

Version 5 .0 of the pro- 
gram incorporates design 
screening and response sur- 

face methods for helping you 
complete all phases of a 
study or experiment, from 
design selection and setup 
to analysis and future aug- 
mentation of the experi- 
ment. After you've com- 
pleted the initial marketing 
or science experiment, the 
program can tell you 
which, if any, factors do not 
have significant effect on 
the outcome. The next time 
you perform the experi- 
ment, you can achieve accu- 
rate results without having 
to account for as many fac- 
tors, the company says. 

more than 250 statistical, 
mathematical, and quality- 
control procedures. New 
graphs include surface and 
3-D contour plots. 
Price: $995. 

Contact: STSC, Inc., 2115 
East Jefferson St. , Rockville, 
MD 20852, (800) 592-0050 
or (301) 984-5000; fax (301) 

Circle 1004 on Inquiry Card. 

Ciieck Your 

M plan Software's new 
b\ Survey Pro program 
helps you manage custom- 
er, marketing, membership, 
and other types of survey 
projects. You enter the ques- 
tions you want answered 
into the program, choosing 
from a variety of question- 
naire styles, answer scales, 
and layout options; the pro- 
gram generates a profession- 
al-looking survey form. 
Once you've designed the 
survey, the program auto- 
matically generates a data- 
entry application for storing 
the acquired data. 

Survey Pro runs on the 
IBM PC and supports the La- 
serJet III. It can import 
TIFF and PCX files for in- 
corporating logos into sur- 
veys and reports. 
Price: $195. 

Contact: Apian Software, 
Inc., P.O. Box 1224, Menlo 
Park, CA 94026, (800) 
237-4565 or (408) 562-9680; 
fax (408) 562-9683. 
Circle 1 006 on Inquiry Card . 

Easy Gen helps you de- 
sign, administer, and an- 
alyze employee-attitude 
surveys. A database of more 
than 500 questions covers 
more than 41 topics, such as 
benefits, service, and ca- 
reer development. The pro- 
gram requires DOS 3.3 or 
higher. The program pre- 
sents reports via graphs, 
showing trend analyses and 
breakdowns by demograph- 
ic categories. 
Price: $150, 

Contact: E. F. Wonderlic 
Personnel Test, Inc., 820 
Frontage Rd. , Northfield, 
IL 60093, (800) 323-3742 or 
(708) 446-8900; fax (708) 

Circle 1007 on Inquiry Card. 

5.0 can now 
display data 
in contour 
and surface 

92PC-4 BYTE" MAY 1991 

From June 25-27 
Over 100,000 ^es WiU 
ftek Into Our Windows 

In 1990, PC EXPO jumped to the forefront of 
computing technology with the industry's first 
Windows-dedicated trade exhibit -- less than one 
month after Microsoft's breakthrough product 
announcement. We saw the need-andWindows/PM 
Pavilion was born. 

In '91, industry leaders cried out for more -- 
and once again we've responded with an even big- 
ger and better Windows/PM Pavilion. More space, 
more exhibitors, and perhaps the largest display of 
Windows-based hardware and software solutions 
you've ever laid your eyes on. 

Over 300 exhibitors displaying Windows 
products. Two independent pavilions and two 
levels in the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. 

Now that's something worth looking into. 
_ And this year's Windows/PM Pavilion 
promises an even more extensive, in-depth 

conference track, enabling you to set your sights on 
those issues most critical to your Windows/PM 
operating environment. 

Windows/PM Pavilion at PC EXPO. It's the 
perfect opportunity to get an eyeful of the latest, up- 
to-the-minute information available to successfully 
implement your corporate computing strategies. 

So c'mon, take a peek, and get the clearest view 
to date on the Windows/PM operating environment. 
For more information call 800-444-3976. 

June 25-27,1991 Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York 

PC EXPO and the Windows/PM Pavilion are produced by Bruno Blenheim inc. 
Windows Is a registered trademaric of Microsoft Corporation. 

Circle 608 on Inquiry Card. 


Open Plan 4.0' s Project Executive interface lets you see project 
data in three views, including project-network view. 

PC, Mac, and 
Unix Project 

Open Plan, the high-end 
project management 
program for the IBM PC, 
has a new graphical interface 
that lets you examine proj- 
ect data in three views. The 
Project Executive interface 
affords you Work Breakdown 
structure, project-network, 
and bar-chart and histogram 
views of the data. You can 
also cut and paste groups of 
activities with the interface. 

Welcom has also added 
support for PostScript in ver- 
sion 4.0. WSTView, a new 
screen painter, is designed to 
help you create custom en- 
try screens for underlying 
database products. The pro- 
gram is dBASE- and FoxPro- 
compatible and runs on the 

On the Mac platform, the 
company's Open Plan/Mac 
runs on AppleTalk or 
EtherTalk, using AppleShare 
or TOPS, NetWare 2.0 or 
higher, or any other Apple- 
Talk Filing Protocol com- 
pliant networks. Open Plan/ 
Mac stores its data in Fox- 
Base/Mac format. If you have 
the PC and Mac versions of 
Open Plan on your network, 
you can share data files and 
report files, the company 

Price: Mac and PC stand- 
alone versions, $4200 each; 
four-user licenses, $14,000 

Contact: Welcom Software 
Technology, 15995 North 
Barkers Landing, Suite 
275, Houston, TX 77079, 
(713) 558-0514. 
Circle 1008 on Inquiry Card. 

etier, developer of 
high-end project man- 

agement programs for the 
IBM PC and Unix, has re- 
leased versions of its project 

management development 
systems for the Hewlett- 
Packard 9000/800 and a 
management planning tool 
for the IBM PC. 

Artemis 7000, a project 
management system with a 
relational database, a graph- 
ics generator, and a report 
writer, and Artemis Project, 
a ready-to-use project man- 
agement application, both 
support the X Window Sys- 
tem interface and Structured 
Query Language interfaces 
to Oracle, Ingres, and RDB 

Artemis Planner 2.0 for 
the IBM PC lets you build 
work and activity plans for 
export to a larger Artemis 
system for more detailed 

Price: Artemis 7000, 
$20,000; Artemis Project, 
$9500; Artemis Planner, 

Contact: Metier Manage- 
ment Systems, Inc., 12701 
Fair Lakes Cir., Suite 350, 
Fairfax, VA 22033, (703) 
222-1111; fax (703) 

Circle 1009 on Inquiry Card. 

PC-File ©ets 14 
Applications and 
a Browser 

ButtonWare's 14 appli- 
cations for its PC-File 
flat-file database include 
accounts payable, address 
book, business contacts, 
checkbook, church records, 
home inventory, and pur- 
chase order invoicing. 

Other custom applica- 
tions include books, coins, 
music inventory, personnel 
records, photo log, prepay in- 
voicing, and video library. 

The company's db; Cra- 
yons utility lets you search 
and browse PC-File data 
from other programs, allow- 
ing you to cut and paste 
data or print mailing labels 
and envelopes. It also lets 
you dial a telephone number 
from a PC-File database. 
Price: Custom Applica- 
tions, $19.95 each; 
db:Crayons, $49.95. 
Contact: ButtonWare, P.O. 
Box 96058, Bellevue, WA 
98009, (800) 528-8866 or 
(206) 454-0479; fax (206) 

Circle 1 01 on Inquiry Card. 


Help for New 
GUI Users 

[,h Ithough Windows and 

m the Mac's graphical 
user interface are designed 
to be easy to use and intu- 
itive, companies are often 
surprised to encounter train- 
ing problems. Some people 
have never used a computer, 
while others are comfort- 
able with the command line 
but have trouble mastering 

Individual Software's 
Professor Windows and Pro- 
fessor Mac help people 
learn at their own pace the 
intricacies of pull-down and 
tear-off menus and other as- 
pects of the interfaces. 
Price: $49.95 each. 
Contact: Individual Soft- 
ware, 125 Shoreway Rd., 
Suite 3000, San Carlos, CA 
94070, (415) 595-8855; fax 
(415) 364-0820. 
Circle 1011 on Inquiry Card. 

Test 1-2-3 

T he Judd Test allows an 
employer to determine 
the proficiency of a pro- 
spective employee in using 
and understanding 1-2-3. 
The program can test in 20 
skill groups and is designed 
to prevent you from passing 
over a qualified candidate 
for one that will require ex- 
tensive training. 

The Judd Test runs in the 
background of the 1-2-3 ap- 
plication. Supported ver- 
sions of 1-2-3 include lA 
up to 2.2. 

Price: $495 for one-year li- 
cense; $295 for each year 

Contact: Mentrix Corp., 
103 Providence Mine Rd. , 
Suite 201, Nevada City, CA 
95959, (916) 265-4000; fax 
(916) 265-0359. 
Circle 1012 on Inquiry Card. 

92PC-6 BYTE" MAY 1991 


Reasons to buy an 

J 30 Day S.ilisf.iction 

JS.iHsfiud Ciistonieis Like... 

J Toll Free Tech Support 

Options Available 

J Complete line of 386 and 
486 ISA and EISA Systems 


80486 33MHz 32 Bit Intel CPU 
4MB RAM-Expandable to 64MB 
MICRONICS Motherboard, Phoenix BIOS 
64K Cache (expandable to 256K) 
Desktop Style Case (Tower Option available) 
8 Expansion Slots (ISA 16 bit) 
EISA System -- Add $900.00 (486 only) 

w/ 7-32 Bit EISA slots, 1-16 bit ISA 
220W Switching Power Supply 

101 Enhanced Keyboard 
12" Hi-Kes Monochrome Monitor 
Monochrome Graphics Card 
1.2 or 1.44 MB Floppy Drive 
100MB 18ms Hard Drive 
Serial, Parallel & Game Ports 
Full 1 Year Limited Warranty 
Free Shipping in the Continental U.S. 
(UPS Ground) 

MS-DOS 3.3 or MS-DOS 4.01 add $50.00 

111) I iiiiinilcs ,11 1< liiiiii IIHIMII . mill $.2^11 uilill. liiJUMI) ,Si>.(irii 

.:^r'^^'r^--^/!^/K Cull Vat StRnd Alone Pricing- 

jomplete 386 33MHz System 

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1 ■■ I -111 ' , ^ i" 

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386 25MHz Non Cache System 
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MICRONICS System add $250.00 

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286 12MHz System 
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t7C|K 00 

Quality Service and Support Since 1984 
Locations Nationwide 

(dps 5.0 $CAL l] 

Components / Accessories 

Logitech Mouseman Serial $ 69 
Logitech Mouseman Bus $ 79 
Logitech Trackman Serial $ 89 
Logitech ScanMan Plus $ 1 79 
Logimouse w/Windows 3.0 $ 1 49 
Supermouse w/Windows 3.0 $ 89 

Die <2S(J SCSI Liilil. Sl."^') 

niC(.2X()I.SI)l V^KCiidii- .Sl5ll 

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c\p. to UiMB i<xc. .IS noted 

386SX 16 exp to 8MB $375 
386SX 20 exp to 8MB $4.50 
386 25 ECS Non Cache $650 
386 33 ECS 128K Cache $850 
386 25 Micronics Non Cache $795 
386 33 Micronics 64K Cache $1050 
486 25 Micronics 64K Cache $1795 


'•U(;ky star imernationa), 

2132 N.Collins 
Arlington, TX 76011 

• Copyrighi 1991 r.! 

1-800^966-5825 (l-u-ck 

1701 Greenville Ave. #602 
Richardson, TX 75081 

4151 Beltline Rd. #120 10773 SW Heiiverton-IIillsdale Hwy. 14220 NE 20th ((1) 
Addison, TX 75244 Beaverton, OR 97005 Hdlevue, WA 981107 

1-800-966-7687 1-800-348-S825 1-800-336-5825 

ickyCompufer Company, tucity Star InteniatiOMi. MS'DOS, Imel. Micronics, ECS. DTG are [radetrtifr^^^ 

Circle 61 6 on Inquiry Card (RESELLERS: 617). 

I lotu s Moii-.Siil 
'Jiiiii-Opm C.S. 1. / r..s. i. 

17.MK Siiiilhccnli-r l>l(»y. 
Tulovihi. WA 9HIHN 


Runs Under X 

SP's DADiSP techni- 
cal spreadsheet for sci- 
entists and engineers now 
supports version 11 of the 
X Window System. 

The program tackles 
tasks in graphics, signal pro- 
cessing, lab automation, 
and test and measurement in 
a menuing environment 
without requiring program- 
ming. DADiSP can directly 
exchange data with instru- 
ments based on the lEEE- 
488 interfaces and A/D 
boards. Through the inter- 
faces, you can acquire, ana- 
lyze, and visualize data 
from oscilloscopes, wave- 
form records, sensors, 
gauges, and other devices. 

DADiSP runs on the 
IBM RISC System/6000; 
Sun-3, Sun-4, Sun386i, and 
Sparcstation; HP 9000 Series 
300 and 800; and the Con- 
current Series MC5000 and 
MC6000. The program 
also runs on the IBM PC. 
Price: $895 to $6995. 
Contact: DSP Development 
Corp., One Kendall Sq., 
Cambridge, MA 02139, 
(617) 577-1133; fax (617) 

Circle 1013 on Inquiry Card. 

Capture and 
Analyze RS-232 


ataScope, designed for 
IBM PC protocol analy- 
sis and data capturing, lets 
you collect up to 8 MB of 
data and signal information 
at rates of up to 115,200 bps. 
The program can also 
match trigger strings against 
incoming data and offers 
archive-parameter control 

The DADiSP technical spreadsheet now runs under X Window 
System for digital signal processing and other applications. 

with pre-, center-, and post- 
trigger positioning. Paladin 

Price: $189.95. 

Contact: Paladin Software, 

Inc. , 3945 Kenosha Ave. , 

San Diego, CA 92117, 

(619) 490-0368. 

Circle 1 01 6 on Inquiry Card . 

Develop 16-MB 

Programs with 

he LabWindows 2.0 
programming environ- 
ment for creating PC-based 
data acquisition and instru- 
ment-control systems now 
uses Rational' s DOS extend- 
er technology to support 
the development in the Lab- 
Windows environment of 
programs that use up to 16 
MB of memory. 

LabWindows 2.0 for 
DOS also uses the D0S/16M 
Virtual Memory Manager, 
allowing programs that re- 
quire 16 MB to run in only 
2 MB of memory. You can 
either develop in the Lab- 
Windows environment or 
compile the program using 
a Microsoft C or QuickBasic 

A new user-interface li- 

code from changes. 
Price: LabWindows 2.0, 
$695; LabView 2.1, $1995; 
run-time system, $495. 
Contact: National Instru- 
ments Corp., 6504 Bridge 
Point Pkwy. , Austin, TX 
78730, (800) 433-3488 or 
(512) 794-0100; fax (512) 

Circle 1014on Inquiry Cord. 

brary to LabWindows 2.0 
provides tools that make it 
easier to integrate graphical 
front ends with your 

Version 2.0 also supports 
dynamically loadable librar- 
ies. You can use your own 
external libraries and C code 
as if they were a standard 
LabWindows library; the 
company says dynamic link 
libraries use much less mem- 
ory than a standard Lab- 
Windows instrument driver. 
You can also compile Lab- 
Windows drivers into object 
modules and load them dy- 
namically, reducing memory 
requirements and increas- 
ing execution speed of the 

A new Create Standalone 
Program utility helps in con- 
verting a LabWindows pro- 
gram into a stand-alone exe- 
cutable program. 

On the Mac platform, the 
LabView 2.1 data acquisition 
program, which doesn't re- 
quire the programming 
knowledge of LabWindows, 
now has a run-time system 
for distributing applications 
while protecting your source 

Acquire Data 

on the PC 

for Under $200 

C Data Master com- 
i bines graphics, data 
sampling, test data, and 
math routines in its digital 
signal processing (DSP) 
system. The program lets you 
develop from the command 
line or with pull-down 
menus. You can create 
applications that use 
multiple windows to dis- 
play data. 

The PC Data Master sys- 
tem provides a complete 
system for DSP; you can 
also integrate processing 
modules written in FOR- 
TRAN, C, Pascal, and 
BASIC with the system, 
developer Durham Technical 
Images says. 

Other features of the pro- 
gram include a macro 
recorder and a collection of 
fundamental DSP routines, 
such as fast Fourier trans- 
form, correlation, and many 

PC Data Master is a 
block-oriented DSP system 
and does not support con- 
tinuous real-time pro- 
cessing. If sufficient RAM 
is unavailable, the pro- 
gram creates temporary 
spill files to buffer excess 

Price: $185. 

Contact: Durham Techni- 
cal Images, P.O. Box 72, 
Durham, NH 03824, (603) 

Circle 1015 on Inquiry Card. 

92PC-8 BYTE • MAY 1991 



TY-1458 14" PRO-VGA+ 0.28MM 

1024X768, 800X600, 640X480 

We deliver defect-free monitors! 
OEM & ODM Welcome 

100% Auto QC -1-20% Random=120% QC 

Our modern facilities and testing processes will 
ensure you have no rivals! 

■ Auto Component Insertion 

■ Auto Wave-Soldering 

■ Auto Logic CDT 

■ Auto Failure Sensing 

■ Auto 24-Hour Bum-In & 24-Hour Rim-In Test-Room (2400 
units at one time] 

■ Magnetic Field Simulating 

■ Auto Packing 

TATION 1280X1024, 1024X768, 800X600, 

For Tystar, 1991 began in earnest with the announcement of 
new products developed by our team of competent R&D 
engineers in an effort to continue earning the confidence of our 
worldwide clientele. 

In the past year. Tystar recorded a remarkable level of expan- 
sion, and the imminent completion of our second and third 
overseas factories is indicative of positive future prospects. 
Contact us now and let our products' profit-boosting quality 
speak for itself. 

Precise working environment test chamber 

* Electronic magnetic vibrator 

* Computer aided cycling temperature & humidity 

* Drop test devices 


TY-1415 14" MULTI-VGA+ 0.28MM 
1024X768, 800X600, 640X480 

TY-1411 14" MULTI-SYNC 0,28MM 

1024X768, 800X600, 640X480 

TY-14I5A 14" PRO-VGA+ 0.28MM 

1024X768, 800X600, 640X480 


Office: 4/F, 10, Lane 4, Tun Hwa N. Rd., Taipei, Taiwan, R.O.C. 
Tel; 886-2-721-6705, 7316689-90 Pax: 886-2-7819185. 
Factory: No. 19-1, Eighth Rd., Taichung Industry Area, Taichung, 
Taiwan, R.O.C. Fax: 886-4-359-1336 

Circle 623 on Inquiry Card. 



110 DynamicDr., Unit 41, Scarborough, Ont. M1V5C7 CANADA 
Tel: (416)297-1202 Pax: (416)754-2240 

All brand names are Irademacks ot their c 



FontMonger lets you create true single-character fractions that 
you can map back to the keyboard. 

Utility to Stir Up Your Fonts 

FontMonger provides type-format conversion in any direc- 
tion for PostScript Type 1, PostScript Type 3, and True- 
Type fonts. FontMonger converts type to Adobe Illustrator 
and Encapsulated PostScript language files. You can mod- 
ify the font outline in Illustrator or another EPS application 
and reinstall it as a new font. 

The utility lets you mix characters from various type fam- 
ilies and combine them into a single font. You can also create 
small-cap and oblique typefaces and superior or inferior 
characters for use in scientific or mathematical equations, 
pricing, and fractions. 

FontMonger runs on the Macintosh. 
Price: $99.95. 

Contact: Ares Software Corp., P.O. Box 4667, Foster 
City, CA 94404, (415) 578-9090. 

Circle 1017on Inquiry Card. 

A Companion 
for Your Word 


The Complete Writer's 
Toolkit comprises six 
editorial tools, five of 
which you can directly access 
as you write. 

Writer's Toolkit includes 
Houghton Mifflin's Correc- 
Text Grammar, Style, 
Punctuation, and Spelling 
Correction System; HM's 
Abbreviation Program; the 
American Heritage Elec- 
tronic Dictionary; Roget's II 
Electronic Thesaurus; the 
Concise Columbia Dictionary 
of Quotations; and the Writ- 
ten Word III— Principles of 
Grammar & Style. You can 
hotkey-access all but the 
grammar checker from 
within most word processors. 

The program runs on 
DOS systems. 
Price: $129. 

Contact: Systems Compati- 
bility Corp. , 401 North Wa- 
bash, Suite 600, Chicago, 
IL 60611, (800) 333-1395 or 
(312) 329-0700; fax (312) 

Circle 1 01 8 on Inquiry Card. 

Symantec Sliips 
New Norton 

The new version of the 
Norton Editor features 
pull-down menus and 
mouse support to make it 
easier to searchz, mark 
blocks, and lay out text. The 
Norton Editor 2.0 is a full- 
screen ASCII text editor. 

In the new version, Sy- 
mantec adds several features 
to streamline programming 
efforts, including a Matching 
Bracket command for 
finding missing or extra 
brackets. While searching 
for a bracket's match, the 
command recognizes and 
accounts for nested punctua- 
tion, such as a math equa- 
tion, in a string. 

Along with the split- 
screen editing capabilities, a 
Window Differences com- 
mand shows you the first line 
in which two documents 
differ. An outline-display 
feature shows only those 
lines that begin with a letter 

or number in the first col- 
umn—helpful for C and Pas- 
cal programmers. 

The Norton Editor 2.0 
requires 256K bytes of RAM 
and DOS 2.0 or higher. It 
includes the Norton Classic 
Editor, which requires only 
50K bytes. 
Price: $99. 

Contact: Symantec Corp., 
10201 Torre Ave., Cuperti- 
no, CA 95014, (800)441- 
7234 or (408) 252-3570. 
Circle 1 01 9 on Inquiry Card . 

Non-WP Fiies 

W I nlike the previous ver- 
%3 sion, the PC Docs 
document management sys- 
tem now supports applica- 
tions other than WordPer- 
fect. Version 4.0 supports 
spreadsheets, image files, 
and other word processors, 
although without the tight 
integration available for WP. 
The program is designed 
for Novell NetWare LANs. 

Running with WP or Let- 
terPerfect, PC Docs inter- 
venes when you save a file 
and requires you to enter a 
file profile with the author, 
job number, keywords, and 
comments. Under WP, you 
can retrieve other documents 
without interrupting your 
work flow. Integration with 
WP and LP will remain in 
PC Docs 4.0. 

When used in conjunc- 
tion with a non-WP file, PC 
Docs 4.0 has you create a 
profile first in a template 
and launch the application 
along with the document 
name. PC Docs 4.0 lets you 
search an infinite number 
of file servers without requir- 
ing you to log into each 
one. PC Docs also lets you 
archive documents to an 
existing on-line volume. 
Price: $225 per worksta- 
tion; $295 per workstation if 
you buy the full-text search 

Contact: PC Docs, Inc. , 
Suite 203, 124 Marriott 
Dr., Tallahassee, PL 32301, 
(800) 933-3627 or (904) 
942-3627; fax (904) 942- 

Circle 1 020 on Inquiry Card. 

92PC-10 BYTE 'MAY 1991 

If for Any Reason You're N»l Satisfied with Our Product, Return It . . . Anytime, for a Full Refund!" 


a Am-Tax 1990 (3990) - Prepares, printyour1990taxesl 1040 

& all schedules A-SEI 
[J Amortization Table 3.5 (1115) -Handles all types. 

□ Express Clieck 4.07 (2 disks) (1110) - A great program to 
manage your ctiecking accounts! Even prints checks! 

□ FormGen 4.1a/FQrmFII1 1 .5 (2 disks) (3240) - A very versa- 
tile form generator and form filler. Create and/or fill out any 
kind of form for home or business on any printer. Includes 
numerous sample forms to get you started! 

□ Home Inventory 4.0 (3137) - Helps you keep track of every- 
thing you om. Great for Insurance. 

□ Home Legal Advisor 6.1 (3 disks) (3290) -Over 150 legal 
formsfor almost everything includlngwills and llvingtrusts. 

□ Harness Dates4.01 (2 disks) (3140)-Greatpersonal infor- 
mation manager! Keeps track of anything and everything. 

[J Takin' Care of Business (8 disks) (1230) - Easy to use and 
loaded with features. General Ledger, Accounts Receivable/ 
Payable, invoicing, check printing and much more. Profes- 
sional accounting for non-accountants. (HD) 

n PC-Wrlte 3.03 (3 disks) (3820) - Easy to use word proces- 
sor that is loaded with features including spell checker. 


Note: These disks contain clip art In PCX (PC-Paintbrush) for- 
mat. They can be used with WordPerfect 5.0/5.1, Pagemaker, 
VenturaPublisher,Windowsorprogramsthatcan read PCX files. 
U Accent/Dingbats (2617) □ Holidays (2616) 

□ Houses (3 disks) (2680) 

□ Kids/Cartoons (2 disks) (2820) 

□ Ladles (2 disks) (2690) 

□ Men (2 disks) (2750) 

□ Birds (2 disks) (2620) 

□ Business (2 disks) (2630) 

□ Outlerflles (2695) 

□ Church (4 disks) (2550) 

□ Education (2 disks) (2640) □ !\/llsc.'(4 disks)'(2760) 

□ Family (3 disks) (2650) □ Sports (2 disks) (2790) 

□ Food (2 disks) (2660) □ Teddy Bears (2 disks) (2830) 

□ Headllnes{2disks)(2670) □ Wedding (3 disks) (2850) 


□ AmyS First Primer (1717) -Six different teaming programs 
for children ages 4-8. (CGA) 

□ The DOS Learning System (1417) - Learn how to use DOS 
withthlsgreatprogram. CoversaliversionsofDOS2.0-4.01. 

: □ Funnels* Buckets (1727) -Teach children basic math skills! 

□ Lotus Learning System (2 disks) (1420) -Learn Lotus 2.0 
: easily and quickly 

□ Play W Learn 2.5D (1735) - Acollection of six programs for 
children 18 months to 4 years. (CGA) 

Q Typing Teacher (1425) -Five great programs designed to 
improve the speed and accuracy of your typing! 

□ World 2.99 (1849)-Theultimateg!obe! Learn about cities, 
countries with this computerized globe. (CGA) 

□ TutorDOS(4dlsks){1450)-TheultimateDOStutorial.Every- 
thlng you wanted to know about DOS and morel (HD) 


□ Arcade Gamesi (1811)-Pae-man (3 versions!). Hopper, 
Space invaders. Fusion (Tetris variation), etc. (CGA) 

□ Arcade Games 2 (1812) - Double Blocks (anotherTetrls var- 
iation), Q-Bert, Breakout, Beast and others. (CGA) 

□ EdlsChess1.99(2425)-Thebestchessgameavailableany- 
where. (It beat Chessmaster 2000.) 

□ Kids' Games (2317)-Fun for the under-12 set. 

□ Strategy Games (2461)-Rlsk, Othello, Chess, Nyet (Tetris 
clone), and others. (CGA) 



□ Aulomenu 4.7 (3515)- Latest version of the most popular 
menuing program of all timel 

□ Banner & Sign Makers (3215) - Make banners Or signs for 
any occasion. Works with any printen 

□ Best DOS Utilities (2 disks) (3520) -Essential utilities for 
DOS. Screen blankers, file finders, numerous other handy 
utilities that will save you time. Very easy to use! 

□ Brother's Keeper 4.5 (3 disks) (3120) -Excellent, full- 
featured genealogy program that's easy to use. 

LlMealmasler 6.14 (2 disks) (3160) - A complete recipe filer. 
Gomes with over 450 recipes to start you off. 

□ Mr. Label 5.0 (3235) - Powerful & versatile label maker. 
(□ Online Bible 5.0 (14 disks) (3170) -Complete KJV Bible. 

Includes Greek/Hebrew Lexicon & Cross Reference. (HD) 

□ PC-Key-Draw 3.75 (4 disks) (2780) - An exceptionally power- 
ful graphics program. Comeswith alarge collection of ready- 
made graphics. (CGA){HD) 

□ Pianoman 4.0 (3147)-Create and play music on your PC! 
U Vaccines and Virus Killers Ver. 75 (2 disks) (3510) - Protect 

your system from viruses! This set wii! find (and destroy!) 
over 200 viruses and 400+ virus strains. 


n WordPerfect 5.0/5.1 Art & Graphics Vol. 1 (2 disks) (3710) - 

Over 100 graphics for WordPerfect 5.0/5.1. 
n WordPerfect 5.0/5.1 Art & Graphics Vol. 2 (2 disks) (3770)- 
Over 100 additional graphics for WordPerfect 5.0/5.1. 

□ WordPerfect 5.0/6.1 Art & Graphics Vol. 3 (2 disks) (3780) - 
Over 100 more graphics for WordPerfect 5.0/5.1. 

□ WordPerfect5.0/5.1T00ls(2dlsks)(3750)-17-H great util- 
ities for WordPerfect 5.0/5.1. 

Li WordPerfect 5.1 Learning System (3 disks) (4230) - Learn 
howtouse WordPerfects easily andquickly with thisgreat 
tutorial (WordPerfect 5.1 is NOT required.) 

□ WordPerfect 5.1 Macros (2 disks) (4220) - Over 100 help- 
ful macros for WordPerfect 5.1. 

□ PC-Draft II & III (2 disks) (3760) -Createclip art & graphics 
for WordPerfect 5.0/5.1. (CGA) (HD) 

Free catalog of over 200 programs 
with every order or by request. 

Stiarewa/e programs require separate payment to tfie authors ff founrt useful. 

Note: These disks require Windows 3.0. 

□ Active Life/Organize (4536)-Two "Personal Information 
IVIanagers" that will keep track of important information. 

O Almanac (4535) -The ultimate calendar for Windows! 

□ ATMFonls(orWlndowsVol.1(4dlsks)(4710)-20+ fonts 
for Adobe Type IVIanager. Will work with all Windows appli- 
cations. (Requires Adobe Type iVIanager.) 

D ATMFonlsfQrWlndowsVol.2(4disks)(4720)-20+ addi- 
tional fonts for Adobe Type Manager. 

U CheckbookManagBrsforWlndaws(4559)^Twogreatpro- 
grams to manage your checkbook. 

□ Chess torWlndows(4639)-PlaythegreatgameOf chess, 

□ Command Post 7.0M (4537)-Greatfliemanagerandmenu 
system that is customizable to your needs & preferences 

U Fractals & Mandelbrots for Windows (2 disks) (4680)- 
Fasclnating visual effects and startling graphics. 

□ Games (or Windowsl (4591)-GreatgamesincludingKlotz 
(TetrisClone),WormWar(Centipedeclone),Atmoids, Lunar 
Lander, Checkers, Backgammon and morel 

□ GamesforWindows2(4592)-SpaceWalls,Hextris,Mines, 
Tic Tac Toe and more! 

□ Games for Windows 3 (4593) -Tetris, Concentration, Tai- 
pei, Arachnid (solitaire variation). Alien Force & more. 

□ Hyperdlsk 4.11 (4539) - Make Windows run 2 to 10 times 
faster! (Wii! also help other programs run faster.) 

r :i icons & icon Editors (4 disks) (4560) - Over 2500 icons and 
3 icon editors, so you can create your ownl Also includes 
2 icon viewers and an icon manager. 

□ PC Proiect3,0 for Windows (4625) - A very nice project man- 
ager for Windows. 

□ QuotesforWlndows(4596)-3greatprogramsthatwiligive 
you quotes for the day. 

□ Screen Savers for Windows (4615) - Five different screen 
savers for Windowsl 

U Toolbook Programs Vol. 1 (2 disks) (4540)-Appllcatlons 
and utilities for the Windows Toolbook. 

□ Toolbook Programs Vol. 2 (2 disks) (4670) - More applica- 
tions & utilities for the Windows Toolbook. 

□ ToolbookGames(4675)-AcollectionofgamesfortheWin- 
dows Toolbook. 

□ ToolbookTutor (2 disks) (4610) - Learn howto use the Win- 
dows Toolbook. 

□ Utilities lorWIndows (4 disks) (4510)-40-^ utilities that 
willhelpyougetthemostoutofWindows, aswellasmaking 

Li Wallpaper for Windows Vol. 1 (4 disks) (4520) - If you want 
a different background with Windows, this set offers over 
75 different backgrounds. 

□ WailpaperforWlndowsVol.2(4 disks) (4620)-75-H addi- 
tional backgrounds for Windows. 

□ WallpaperforWlndowsVol.3(4dlsks)(4630)-75-i- addi- 
tional backgrounds for Windows. 

□ XVT Draw (4549)-Great drawing program. 

(CGA) Requires CoiorGraphic Adapter (HD) Requires Hard Disk 

per disl< 
10 disks or more 


per disk 
1-9 disks 

Order Toil Free 

nformation: 503-776-5777 
Fax: 503-773-7803 

Disk size: n&Vt" □ 31/2" (add $1 per disk if you require S'/z") 
No. Disks x$ =$ 


B-Shipping it $4.00 

f □ Federal Express, Overnight (add $7) $ 

OnTy { □ Federal 2nd Day (add $5) $ 

. □ COD (add $5) $ 

□ Canada (add $2) $ 

Phone " □ Foreign outside U.S./Canada (add $4) $ 

Method of Payment: □ Check/Money Order □ Visa/MasterCard □ COD TOTAL ORDER: S 

All checks must be payable in US funds. We cannot accept Eurocheques. 

Business/Company (If applicable) 


Card No. 

Exp. Dale 


! 2101 West IVlain, IVledford, Oregon 97501 

I Toll free 800-876-3475 or 503-776-5777, Fax 503-773-7803 


Circle 624 on Inquiry Card. 

Everyone makes claims. 

When the industry wants product testing taken 
to the nth degree, they take it to NSTL. 

In every field, one name sets the standard. In microcomputer 
testing, the name is NSTL. 

We've pioneered test methodologies. We're known for real- 
world evaluation— testing products the way you use them. And 
we're completely independent. 

So when you see the NSTL compatibility certification seal on a 
product, you know that it withstood the battery of tests run by 
the toughest lab in the industry— and it's ready for your business. 

The seal saves you a lot of comparison and guesswork. It says 
you'll find the product compatible with a wide range of business 
applications and hardware. It says that it meets NSTL's 
demanding test standards. 

It gives you confidence that you've made the right choice. 

Real-world testing for real-world use. 

Compatibility testing— including new technology- specific 
certification programs on Systems, Micro Channel™ Bus Adapters, 
OS/2™ EE and more— is just one facet of NSTL's expertise. 

Every conceivable problem— from engineering-level hardware 
bugs to the everyday usability of business software— is evaluated 
in our labs daily. 

And it's tested with the end-user in mind. Our strength is thai 
we put every PC, mouse, modem, printer or program in a real- 
world environment and use it the way your staff would. Except 
our trials are more punishing. 

We test the limits of microcomputer technology 

VCfe make sure. 

Our publications, and others that 
publish our work. 

Much of our testing is done on a confidential basis for 
1 companies that want to improve their products. But in a separate 
■s. facility we also do comparison testing for our own Ratings 

Reports: Software Digesf, Software Digest Macintosh, PC Digest®, 
re LAN Reporter"", and MicroSystems Reporter"". They're read by people 
J who purchase an average of more than $500,000 in micro- 
I computer hardware and software annually 
'f. And because of the respect we've earned, some of the industry's 
I leading magazines, like PC World, Data Communications and 
!>t LAN Times, publish our test results. It adds up to this: NSTL is 
I the name experts trust. 

Look for the NSTL seal and be sure. 

Now NSTL is a name you can rely on, too. No matter how 
good a new product is, the final test is its compatibility in a 
business environment. 

The NSTL mark tells you it's already met that test. Look for it 
when you compare products. 


Plymouth Corporate Center, 

Box 1000 Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462 215-941-9600 

Micro ClMnnel™ and 05/2™ are trademarks of the IBM Corporation 

Circle 61 9 on Inquiry Card. 


Thing with 
This Hot Box 


Translator, or Hotz Box, 
features a radically differ- 
ent keyboard layout that helps 
musicians orchestrate, 
rather than simply play, 
music. When used with an 
Atari computer, the Hotz Box 
lets you compose, edit, se- 
quence, and perform creative 

When you link several 
Hotz systems, one unit can 
serve as a conductor in a 
jam session. When the Hotz 
Box is used with MIDI 
sound modules, one person 
could play bass, another 
piano, and another trumpet, 
yet everyone plays in key. 
With one button, the person 
running the master unit can 
configure each unit to pro- 

The Atari Hotz MIDI 
translator, although resembling 
a keyboard, is completely 
programmable and doesn 't 
have any moving parts. The 
pads are touch-sensitive. 

duce notes in the same key. 
This way, musicians in a jam 
session can play without 
fear of hitting the wrong 

note. This lets you focus on 
creating rather than playing, 
Atari says. You can pro- 
gram the system to play 
chords or notes in any key 
or combination of keys. 

The system help^s musi- 
cians by expanding their mu- 
sical vocabularies. You can 
program the system to play 
complicated chord combi- 
nations— not just major and 
minor chords— and scales 
flawlessly. Atari says. 

The MIDI-compatible 
system comes with extensive 
libraries of chords and 
scales. When used with 
MIDI sound modules, it 
can reproduce the sound of 
any instrument. 
Price: $5500. 
Contact: Atari Computer, 
1196 BorregasAve.,P.O. 
Box 3427, Sunnyvale, CA 
94088, (408) 745-2000; fax 
(408) 745-2088. 
Circle 1 026 on Inquiry Card . 

A MIDI Maestro 
for the PC 

P he Covox MIDI Mae- 
I stro consists of a card 
that fits into a slot on your 
PC, a score print program, 
and a 64-track MIDI se- 
quencer that samples at a rate 
of 600 beats per quarter 
note. Covox says the sam- 
pling rate lets you record 
even a snare drum roll and 
play it back without it 
sounding choppy. 

The sequencer uses a 
routine that adds the human 
factor back to quantized 
music. This lets your music 
sound tight, not computer- 

Price: $189.95. 

Contact: Covox, Inc., 675 

Conger St. , Eugene, OR 

97402, (503) 342-1271; fax 


Circle 1 027 on Inquiry Card. 

The Object-oriented Database 

For Everyday Business Applications 

Object-oriented database management systems are the new generation of 
development systems. They represent more faithfully the real world and are 
superior to traditional systems for applications involving complex data and 

Andsor is the only object-oriented database specifically designed for 
everyday business applications, such as accounting, management, inventory, 
manufacturing, retail, and services. Andsor implements your application as a 
structured collection of objects and operations that closely matches the 
application logic. The result: simpler applications, faster development, and 
easier maintenance. 

The benefits of the Andsor environment: small and efficient applications; 
versatile data models let you implement complex file structures; virtual memory 
management eliminates all memory restrictions; multiuser applications run in 
client-server mode; superior data integrity; simple, interactive development 
environment; modest hardware requirements, runs well on any PC; mature and 
solid software, proved in the real world since 1986. 

To order Andsor, or to order our free brochure, call 1-800-766-1141 (24 hours) 

Andsor Research Inc. 

390 Bay Street, Suite 2000 
Toronto, Ontario M5H 2Y2, Canada 
Tel. (416)245-8073 Fax. (416)240-8473 

System requircmenU; IBM PC or PS/2 or compatible, 320K RAM, one drive or hard disk, DOS 2.0 + . ©1991 Andsor Research Inc. Trademarl<s: Andsor, IBM, PC, PS;2. 

(-(-$12 shipping) 

• Includes LAN version 

• Includes unlimited run-time distribution 

• 30 day unconditional money-back guarantee 

92PC-14 BYTE • MAY 1991 

Circle 607 on Inquiry Card. 



Ttie Atron Evaluator makes 
testiog so easy yoo can even do it 
with your eyes closed. 

Imagine being able to design tests during the day and 
then run them at night while you sleep — literally. You can 
with Cadre's Atron Evaluator®. 

The Evaluator is much easier, faster, and more efficient 
than any test tool you've ever used. It helps you produce 
products of much higher quality while devoting your 
intelligence to higher-level problems. 

And even though you're increasing quality, you can 
still cut development time significantly. You can devote 
fewer resources to turning out a better product faster. 

The Evaluator is non-intrusive, unlike softwai'e-based 
testers. Which means it doesn't use any of your system's 

All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. 

memory or slow your system in any way. 

The Atron Evaluator works for virtually any teiminal 
emulation package. You can test softwaiB mnning on worksta- 
tions, minis or mainframes right fi'om your PC or PS/2 platform. 
And the Evaluator supports MS-DOS'? OS/2® Presentation 
Manager®, Windows® and other operating environments. So 
whichever one your team develops for, the Atron Evaluator 
from Cadre has you covered all the way. 

Tired of losing sleep over testing problems? Put Cadre's 
Atron Evaluator to the test. 

For an evaluation, call 
1-800-733-6036 today. 



Circle 61 2 on Inquiry Card. 

r I 


Evaluator is a software test system which automates the hand testing and 
retesting of software. Software can now be testing unattended, 24 hours a day, 
seven days a weeli. 

The Evaluator has a powerful, built in test generator that eases the task of 
test development and execution. 

The Evaluator Test Control Language and C Test Library allows 
comprehensive tests to be developed from software specifications. Evaluator 
automatically generates a report for each test conducted, providing all the 
information necessary to maintain comprehensive test standards. Because 
Evaluator can test graphics and text mode applications using keyboard and 
mouse input, there are few apphcations Evaluator cannot work with. DOS, OS/2, 
Unix, Windows and Presentation Manager applications can all be tested. Using a 
PC in terminal emulation mode, Evaluator can test minicomputer and mainframe 
software just as well. 

Evaluator is a non intrusive, hardware assisted software test system. No code 
is loaded with the software being tested, therefore Evaluator will not affect the 
behavior of the software being tested. You can rest assured that tests carried out 
using Evaluator are as valid as hand testing. 

Testing with Evaluator means higher quality software, it means shorter 
development times, it means higher profits and greater market share. 



C Language Library 

A library of C functions is available which can be used 
in coryuction with the Learn Mode and TCL facility for 
complete flexibility in test development. 
Large scale test programs can be developed in C. All the 
power of C is available with routines that drive the 
Evaluator Hardware. Examples of applications are 
benchmarking, data retrieval fi-om external databases and 
testing numerical software. 

Eastern Systems inc. 

P.O. Box 310, 117 South St., Hopkinton, MA 01748 
508-435-21 51 FAX 508-435-251 7 


■ BIX is more than just a great on-line information service. It's a community made up of thousands of the most serious computer users in the world; 
people like your customers, who are always on the look-out for the latest innovations and information regarding both hardware and software. Now you 
can set up shop in this electronic neighborhood with your own BIX Technical Support Conference. That way, you can give your customers all the prod- 
uct information and technical support they need. Use it to post updates or fixes for your customers to download at any time. If your company doesn't 
operate an 800 number, a BIX conference is an inexpensive alternative. Or it can back up an existing 800 line. And when you establish a BIX confer- 
ence you'll enhance your product's value because you'll be able to offer your customers special rates on BIX subscriptions. For all the details, call 
Customer Service at: 1-800-227-2983 (in NH, call 603-924-7681). 


92PC-16 BYTE 'MAY 1991 


Springtime in 


SPRING '91 is a major 
new internatdonal computer 
industry event dedicated to 
information technology 

It's two m^'or shows side- 
by-side in Atlanta this May 
20^23, an expanded 
COMDEX now reaching 
resellers and corporate end- 
user management, and 
first official conference and 
expo for Windows computing 
created in cooperation with 

Some 1,000 exhibiting 
companies and 60,000 
attendees are expected, 
including computer resellers, 
software developers, dis- 
tributors and OEMs, plus 
corporate buyers, MIS/ 
communications managers, 
CIO/IS executives, 
workgroup and departmen- 
tal managers, and 1,000 
trade and business press. 

SPRING will feature a 
combined Conference 
program of more than 170 
sessions -- the largest and 
most comprehensive forum 
ever put together for a 
computer industry event. 

Continues to 
Lead tlie Way 

The 11th Spring version 
of COMDEX will continue 
to reach every category of 
reseller, with this year's 
expanded show featuring a 
host of reseller-specific 
educational and training 
support programs. These 
will include over 60 confer- 
ence sessions specifically 
focused on reseller issues, as 

well as customized vendor 
presentations from leading 
manufacturers and suppli- 

COMDEX '91 at 
SPRING will also be the 
first COMDEX event to 
offer a separate End-User 
Conference Program with 
nearly 60 separate sessions. 
A wide variety of programs 
and features will also be 
available to the corporate 
end-user, from middle 
managers to senior informa- 
tion system (IS) executives. 

Raymond J. Noorda, President 
and CEO of Novell, will deliver 
the COMDEX keynote address. 
"The spark that Ignites an 
Industry," an insightful over- 
view of networked computing 
and its ever-increasing impact 
on the computer industry. 

Official Show for 


is the official Microsoft- 
sponsored event supporting 
Windows, the most influen- 
tial computing software on 
the market today. 

The show will feature 
products, support and more 

Bill Gates, Chairman of 
Microsoft, will deliver the 
address. "Windows; Changing 
the Face of Corporate Comput- 
ing," an inside look at the 
contributions of Windows to 
corporate computing and a 
preview of future enhancements 
to Windows technology. 

than 50 educational confer- 
ence sessions on Windows 
computing for corporate 
users, software developers, 
system integrators, periph- 
eral designers, value-added 
resellers (VARs), and other 
industry professionals. 


SPRING Networked 
Computing Focus will 
include exhibitors demon- 
strating interoperability 
along with a comprehensive 
conference program on 
networking and communica- 
tions, including a Corpora- 
tion for Open Systems 
(COS) certification program. 

Networking exhibits will 
be on both COMDEX and 
show floors, and almost 60 
networking sessions topics 
will be offered in both 

A Multimedia 

SPRING Multimedia 
Pavilion will feature an 
exhibit area of major 
industry companies, such as 
IBM, Microsoft Corporation, 
and others. In addition, 
SPRING attendees will be 
able to see a variety of 
products combining audio, 
video, animation, graphics 
and more in a separate 
Multimedia Presentation 
Theater. Approximately 20 
conference sessions will 
address the status of this 
emerging technology. 

Highlights of 

• 1,000+ COMDEX and 


» 170-1- conference sessions 
in the COMDEX and 

• COMDEX keynote by 
Novell CEO Ray Noorda 
addressing critical reseller 
and user issues. 

keynote address by Microsoft 
CEO, Bill Gates. 

• Special focus on Networked 
Computing and Multimedia. 

• Major new programs 
including Vendor Presenta- 
tions, New Product Aware- 
ness, User Group Meetings. 

• Special focus on Networked 
Computing and Multimedia. 

featuring COMDEX and 

Atlanta, May 20-23, 1991. 
For more information on 
attending call THE INTER- 
FACE GROUP at 617-449- 
8938. For exhibiting 
information call 617-449- 
6600 X4023. 

^"NI^WS WORLD Conference and Exposition are properties of the INTERFACE GROUP - NEVADA, Inc. COMDEX is a registered trademarlc of 
in ifcKi. AOfc GROUP - Nevada, Inc. MicrosofV and the Microsoft logo are registered trademarlts and Windows is a trademarlt of Microsoft Corporation. 

Circle 614 on Inquiry Card. 


Laptop Music 

p aptop and palmtop 
' computers are becoming 
common tools for working 
away from the office. Now 
Yamaha has a new machine 
for the musician who wants 
to work away from the 

The QYIO, which is 
about the size of a standard 
VHS tape, lets you com- 
pose, arrange, and play 
music using an 8-track/8- 
song sequencer, 28-note 
polyphonic tone generator, 
drum machine, and keyboard 
pad. Yamaha says uses of 
the system include writing 
and listening to arrange- 
ments, composing, ear train- 
ing, sequencing for single 
or duo live performance, 
backing for musical prac- 


[■{'Ami] nijui iixiDGLj 

For the musician or composer who wants to work away from the 
studio, the Yamaha QYIO weighs less than 1 lb. 

tice, and music education. 

The QYIO provides op- 
tions of 29 sampled instru- 
ments, including pianos, 
strings, brass, guitars, 
basses, synthesizer voices, 
and drums. 

The rhythm section has 
76 preset backing patterns 
with memory for 24 more 

of your own. Patterns include 
drum, bass, and chord com- 
binations of 1 to 8 measures, 
many with strings or brass. 
You can create your songs 
and arrangements by mix- 
ing and matching patterns, or 
you can play the notes with 
the system. 
When inputting chords. 

the QYIO supports added 
ninths, sixths, suspended 
fourths; diminished, aug- 
mented, eleventh, and thir- 
teenth options; and standard 
major, minor, and seventh 

The sequencer/recording 
portion of the system sup- 
ports eight songs and eight 
tracks. Real-time and step- 
time recording is available, 
and you can edit what you 
record. The QYIO also has 
MIDI-In and MIDI-Out 

The unit measures 4 by 
T/i by 1 inches and weighs 
11 ounces. 
Price: $399. 

Contact: Yamaha Corp. of 
America, Synthesizer, Gui- 
tar, and Drum Division, 
P.O. Box 6600, Buena Park, 
CA90622, (714) 522-9011; 
fax (714) 522-4023. 
Circle 1 028 on Inquiry Card. 

Windows development is no longer only 
for the elite in our community 

^^ lai 

Unless you recite all mndow messages by memory, or re- 
call the function and syntax of GlobalGetAtomName, 
you're out of the club. So start reading your manuals. 
And keep on reading. 

Or join our club using ProtoView to develop Windows 
applications in minutes. The secret is ProtoView's unique 
graphical approach to window design. Create windows, 
menus, fields, and buttons by painting them. Then link 
your objects to create an application, When you're done, 
ProtoView generates C or C-I-+ compatible code for you. 

With ProtoView, Windows development is now acces- 
sible to everyone. So put down those manuals, and start 



I ! 

ProtoView Development Corp. 

353 Georges Rd. Dayton, Nj 08810 
908.329.8588 TEL 908.329.8624 FAX 

Circle 622 on Inquiry Card. 

usive CT: 

* 1-year nationwide on-site 

* 5-year warranty on labor 
1-year warranty on parts 
Open 7 days a week 
Corporate PO's WELCOME 








Socket for 



Floppy Drive: 









1.2 MB 
1 Serial 
1 Parallel 
6-16 Bit 
2-8 Bit 

101 Enhanced 




80286/16 : 






1 MB 

1.2 MB 

2 Serial 
1 Parallel 
6-16 Bit 
2-8 Bit 

101 Enhanced 




Add m 





80387 Weitek 3167 


1.2 MB 

2 Serial 

1 Parallel 

5-16 Bit 

1-8 Bit 

1-32 Bit 

101 Enhanced 





Add nOO 





1.2 MB 
2 Serial 
1 Parallel 
6-16 Bit 
2-8 Bit 

101 Enhanced 



386/25C 64K 







80380 or 

Weitek 3167 


1.2 MB 

2 Serial 

1 Parallel 

5-16 Bit 

1-8 Bit 

1-32 Bit 

101 Enhanced 




8038e/33G j 

486/25C 256K 




1MB ; 

Weitek 4167 
1.2 MB 
2 Serial ; 
1 Parallel 
6-16 Bit 
2-8 Bit 

101 Enhanced 






40 MB IDE, 25ms . . .»208 14" Amber Mono ... .'90 Monographic w/PP . . M7 2400 Internal Modem w/Send Fax . .»50 

105 MB IDE, T7ms . . .448 14" Qume 830 VGA . .245 256K, 16 Bit VGA 50 Ext. 2400 Modem w/software 72 

210 MB IDE, 15ms . . .800 14" ADI VGA 260 512K, 16 Bit VGA 77 Ext. 2400 MNP5 Modem 125 

1.2 MB 5Vi" 60 14" Qume 835 1 MB, Super VGA . . .115 Internal 120 MB Tape Back-Up 275 

1.44 MB 31/2" 62 Super VGA 325 Mighty Cat 6400 dpi Mouse 20 

^"^^mcDMOATT (800) 288-2180 °sB. 

VvVjivl VjlvAl Jl Local: 408-453-8310 SAT--su™i0am-5pm 

TRTANriT F fax: 4O8-44I-8825 WeAcceptg 

1 IVli Vi >l VJ l_vJU 1350 Ridder Park Drive, San Jose, CA 95131 

Circle 611 on Inquiry Card 


Three MIDI 
for the Mac 

Bj) assport's latest version 
of its Master Tracks Pro 
4 music sequencer for the 
Mac supports Apple's MIDI 
Manager in System 6.0.7 
and provides an overdub 
record mode for recording 
directly over a track without 
erasing existing data. Ver- 
sion 4.5's integrated track 
editor lets you record and 
play up to 64 tracks of music 
while providing a graphical 
user interface that lets you 
build large works by repeat- 
ing sections and adding 
phrases from other se- 
quences, the company 

You can view the struc- 
ture of the song and edit it 
using cut, copy, paste, 
and mix commands. You can 

also step input passages you 
are unable to play live by 
playing the piece a note at a 
time using the mouse or a 
MIDI instrument. Volume 
faders let you do live mixing. 

AudioTrax, an 8-bit digi- 
tal audio and MIDI desktop 
recording studio for the 
Mac, offers the recording 
and editing features of 
Passport's Trax sequencer 
plus the ability to record 
and play two tracks of digi- 
tally recorded dialogue or 
sound effects in sync with a 
MIDI composition. The 
program can use sounds re- 
corded with Farallon's 
MacRecorder Digitizer, an 
internal sound-input device 
like those provided with the 
Mac LC and SI, or any digi- 
tal sampler. You can cut, 
copy, and paste sequenced 
and audio data throughout a 
MIDI sequence and record 
up to 64 tracks of music in 

real time. AudioTrax lets 
you incorporate digital audio 
and MIDI into desktop pre- 
sentations, complementing a 
visual production with a 
multimedia desktop presenta- 
tion. Once you load the se- 
quence and audio, you can 
edit them to synchronize 
precisely with the visual, 
Passport says. The pro- 
gram's digital audio func- 
tions add any sound, digital 
or prerecorded, that is not 
available from MIDI instru- 
ments. You can then play the 
sequence and digital audio 
in sync with the presentation 
triggered by MIDI com- 
mands, via MIDI Manager or 
Passport's HyperMusic 
MIDI player. 

The company has also re- 
leased a new version of En- 
core, the composing and 
notation program for the 
IBM PC and Mac. Encore 
2.0 includes an expanded 

symbol library, improved 
page-layout control, support 
for guitar chords, automatic 
beaming, extensive key com- 
mands, and the ability to 
read ASCII text files from 
other programs. 

The program can also 
transcribe live MIDI input 
and standard MIDI files. 
The program supports 64 
staves and lets you work on 
16 files simultaneously. Im- 
proved guessing routines 
more accurately transcribe 
triplets and complex pieces, 
the company says. 
Price: Master Tracks Pro 4 
version 4.5, $495; Audio- 
Trax, $199; Encore 2.0, 

Contact: Passport Designs, 
Inc. , 625 Miramontes St. , 
HalfMoon Bay, CA 94019, 
(415) 726-0280; fax (415) 

Circle 1029 on Inquiry Card. 

Finding A Virus Can Be A Hare 
Raisihg Experience 




Immunize your tompulter with Dr. Solomon's 
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multiply, and muHj,ply, 
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Inoculates, Eradicates, Annihilates f 
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Internallonal: 612-937-1107 ■ Fax: 612-937-5815 
6321 Bury Drive, Eden Prairie, MN 55346 


Exclusive North American Distributor 

92PC-20 BYTE -MAY 1991 

Circle 620 on Inquiry Card (RESELLERS: 621 ). 

Build Your Own 
80486 PC and 
Save a Bundle 

by Aubrey Pilgrim 

$16.95 220 pp. 

Pitrtcclod M(mIc 

Prograuunini" in V, 

80386 Protected 

Programming in C 

by Ler) Dorfman 

$24.95 448 pp. 


Batch File 

by Dan Gookin 

0-8306-8641 -X 
$24.95 336 pp. 


111 SAVE 1 mil 

Build Your Own 
PostScript Laser 
Printer and Save a 

by Horace W. LaBadie, Jn 

$16.95 144 pp. 

Lee Adams' 
Graphics in C 

Lee Adan 

Lee Adams 
Graphics in 

by Lee Adams 

$26.95 512 pp. 



Scottsdale, AZ 




San Diego, CA 
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Cupertino, CA 


San Jose, CA 


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Hollywood, CA 




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Cupertino, CA 


Palo Alto, CA 


San Francisco, CA 


Palo Alto, CA 


Stanford, CA 
Citrus Heights, CA 
Sacramento, CA 


Sacramento, CA 


Los Angeles, CA 




Honolulu, HI 




Portland, OR 


Seattle, WA 


Seattle, WA 

Windcrest/McGraw-Hill [ijjj 


Circle 61 on Inquiry Card. 

I N T R O D 

The Official Conference and Exposition for Windows Computing. 


1 i 

n the fast changing world of Microsoft® Windows'," 
you need to stay ahead just to l^eep up. Which is 
why you need to be at WINDOWS™WORLD '91 this 
spring in Atlanta. 

WINDOWS WORLD '91 at SPRING will open 
up extraordinary possibilities you've never seen 
before. For example: 

You'll be exposed to every new Windows 
product, service and support program that 
currently exists. 

WINDOWS"WOBLD Conference and Exposlllon is a property of INTERFACE GROUP - NEVADA, Inc. 
COMDEX Is a registered trarlemark of INTERFACE GROUP - NEVADA, Inc. 
Microsoft and ttie Microsoft logo are registered trademad(s and Windows is a trademari< of Microsoft 

You'll see special vendor presentations that 
will help you decide what's best for your company 

You'll find the latest productivity tools, along 
with tutorials on software applications. 

You'll have access to all kinds of helpful 
mini-events, including user orientation, training, 
and support activities. 

And at the conference, Windows-specific 
topics— ranging from spreadsheets to word and 
document processing and from multi-media to 

MAY 20-23, 

Circle 615 on Inquiry Card. 

U C I N G 

From the Producers of COMDEX in cooperation with Microsoft. 

I ' HERE* 

network computing— will be covered in-depth and 
ly in detail by some of the best minds in the business, 
g We see large crowds attracted to this event, 

so plan to be a part of WINDOWS WORLD '91. 

CALL 617-449-8938, 
TELEX 174273, FAX 617-449-2674, 

aWlND0WSW0RLD'91 i 

The Official Conference and Exposition for Windows Computing I 


Yes, I want to be part of WINDOWS WORLD '91. | 
May 20-23, 1991 • Atlanta, Georgia 


Title I 

Company I 

Address , 

City State Zip I 

Ptione Fax _^ | 

Complete and return to: WINDOWS WORLD '91 i 

300 First Avenue, Needham, MA 02194 U.S.A. ' 

2810X0E1 I 

L 1991 • ATLANTA 


Music Clips and 

a LoW"Cost MIDI 

I pcode's collection of 
MIDIclips is a library 
of professionally composed 
music stored as MIDI files 
for use in multimedia pre- 
sentations on the Mac. The 
original sound clips, which 
you can distribute freely 
through your company, are 
designed to be played back 
through a Roland CM32L- 
compatible MIDI instrument, 
the company says. How- 
ever, you can also play them 
through other MIDI instru- 
ments as well. The CM32L is 
a 32-voice synthesizer tone 
module featuring linear 
arithmetic synthesis and 
sound effects. 

Opcode says the sound 
clips offer to the music and 
multimedia community 

what clip art offers to the 
graphics community. You 
can incorporate them into 
multimedia presentations 
created with Supercard, Hy- 
perCard, or MacroMind 
Director, the company says. 

MIDIclips requires a 
MIDI hardware interface, a 
MIDI instrument, MIDI- 
play, and HyperCard 1.2.5 
or higher or any MIDI se- 
quencer. MIDIplay lets you 
play back the sequences of 
MIDIclips and edit their 
length and instrument 
sound while a sequencer lets 
you record the sounds and 
graphically edit them. MIDI- 
play 1 . 1 now automatically 
creates programs that are 
compatible with Macro- 
Mind's products. 

Opcode's MIDI Transla- 
tor is a hardware interface 
that plugs into the Mac's 
serial port. The Translator 
doesn't require a separate 

power supply. 

And for developers who 
want to create applications 
that process data in real 
time. Opcode created Max. 
You can create complex ap- 
plications by linking simple 
modules, the company says. 
The program is written in C 
and provides a high-level 
graphical way for you to 
create applications that 
compose and improvise 
music, provide accompani- 
ment as you play, send com- 
mands to a synthesizer, and 
modify synthesizer patches. 
Price: MIDIclips, price un- 
determined at press time; 
MIDIplay, $59.95; MIDI 
Translator, $59; Max, $395. 
Contact: Opcode Systems, 
Inc. , 3641 Haven Dr. , Suite 
A, Menlo Park, CA 94025, 
(415) 369-8131; fax (415) 

Circle 1 030 on Inquiry Card . 

A Digital 
Recording Studio 
for the Mac 

Digidesign's Studio D 
integrates MIDI and 
digital audio on the Mac II, 
letting you produce, record, 
mix, and master compact 
disc-quality music. 

The system consists of a 
Mac II with a hard disk 
drive, Digidesign's Sample- 
Cell, Deck, and Audiomedia 
or Sound Tools. 
Price: Audiomedia, $995; 
Sound Tools, $3285; Deck, 
$349; SampleCell, $1995 
with no RAM, $2995 with 
8 MB of RAM. 
Contact: Digidesign, Inc., 
1360 Willow Rd., Suite 101, 
Menlo Park, CA 94025, 
(800) 333-2137 or (415) 688- 
0600; fax (415) 327-0777. 
Circle 1031 on Inquiry Card. 

dANALYST GOLD Version 5.0 

Total Product Support for XBASE, PARADOX and C & C + + Developers 
One package helps you learn different languages! 

One product that supports dBASE III Plus, dBASE IV, Clipper SM87, Clipper 5.0, 
FoxBase +, FoxPRO/LAN, Quicksilver, DBXL, Paradox, Microsoft C, Borland C++, 
WATCOM 386, Jensen & Partners Top Speed C, Metaware High C 386, Microway C, 
AT&T C, Novell Network C Compiler, Intel C, SCO C XENIX/UNIX/ODT, Silicon Valley 
Software, Zortech C+ + and HCR C++. 

Multi-user converter from single user XBASE applications. 
You can create 386/486 specific applications. 

Creates cross reference of: -# define locations, variables and functions. 

Source Code Documentor / Indenter / Beautifier for these languages. 

Supports NET LIB for Clipper SM87 and Clipper 5.0. 

Enhanced manual supports all languages Including Clipper 5.0. 

Relational Screen Painter and Report Writer can generate portable source code for 

XBASE, Paradox PAL and C & C + +. 

C generation includes program generation for Code Base 4, Copia Accsys for dBASE & 
Paradox, Borland Paradox Engine, Novell Btrieve, Faircom C-Tree, SoftC Lib, Vermont 
Views, C-SCAPE, Raima db_Vista III and Emerald Bay. 

High speed portable Video Lib included for C & C + + developers. 

Includes the Soft C DBMS Lib that reads/writes DBF, NDX, IDX and NTX data files & 

Indexes in multi-user mode. 

Color source code analyzer will reformat and indent all source. 
Samples for XBASE, Paradox and C included. 

Create programs that will run under DOS, Novell, NETBIOS, XENIX, / j 

UNIX, Sun OS, ULTRIX, VMS and Microsoft Windows. 
8088 and 80386 specific versions Included for enhanced speed. 
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InqulQl Numtars 494-986 |„,u|. Number. 987-1479 

498 499 500 601 502 503 504 605 506 607 608 609 510 987 988 989 090 991 992 993 994 995 996 997 998 999 1000 IMt 10O2 1003 

616 516 617 518 619 620 521 622 523 524 525 526 627 10041005100610071008100910101011 101210131014101510161017101810191020 
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549 550 651 552 653 554 555 556 657 658 659 660 661 1038 1039 1040 1041 1042 1043 1044 1045 1046 1047 1046 1049 1050 1051 1052 1053 1054 
566 667 668 669 570 671 572 573 574 675 576 677 678 1055105810571058105910601061 1062106310841065106610871068106910701071 
683 584 585 686 587 688 589 690 591 692 593 594 695 1072107310741075107610771078107910801081 1082108310841065108610871068 
600 601 602 603 604 605 606 607 606 609 610 611 612 108910901091 1092109310941095109810971098109911001101 1102110311041105 

617 618 619 620 621 622 623 624 625 628 627 628 629 110611071108110911101111 1112111311141116111811171118111911201121 1122 
634 635 636 637 638'639 640 641 642 643 644 645 646 112311241126112611271128112911301131 11321133113411351136113711381139 
651 652 653 654 655 656 657 658 659 660 661 662 663 11401141 114211431144114511461147114811491160115111521153115411651156 
666 669 670 671 672 673 674 675 676 677 678 679 660 11671168116911601161 1162116311641165116611671168116911701171 11721173 
685 686 687 688 689 690 691 692 693 694 695 696 697 11741175117611771176117911601181 H8211831184118511861187118811691190 
702 703 704 705 706 707 708 709 710 711 712 713 714 1191 1192119311941195119611971168119912001201120212031204120512061207 
719 720 721 722 723 724 725 726 727 728 729 730 731 1208120912101211 1212121312141215121612171218121912201221 122212231224 
736 737 738 739 740 741 742 743 744 745 746 747 748 1226122612271228122912301231 1232123312341235123612371238123912401241 
763 754 755 756 757 758 759 760 761 762 763 764 765 1242124312441245124812471248124912501261 1252125312541255125612571258 
770 771 772 773 774 775 776 777 778 779 780 781 762 125912601261 1262126312641265126812671268126912701271 1272127312741275 
787 768 789 790 791 792 793 794 795 796 797 798 799 127612771278127912801281 1282128312841285128612871288128912901291 1292 
804 805 806 807 808 809 810 611 612 813 614 815 816 1293 12941255 12961297 1298 12991300 1301 13021303 13041305130613071308 1309 
821 822 623 824 625 628 827 828 829 830 831 832 633 13101311 1312131313141315131613171318131913201321 13221323132413251326 
638 839 840 841 842 843 644 845 848 647 648 649 850 13271328132913301331 1332133313341335133613371338133913401341 13421343 
855 656 857 658 859 860 861 862 863 664 865 866 667 13441345134813471348134913501351135213531354135513561357135813591360 
872 873 874 675 876 877 878 879 880 881 882 883 884 1361 1362136313641365136613671368136913701371137213731374137513761377 
869 890 891 892 893 894 895 896 697 698 699 900 901 1378137913801381 1382138313841385138613871388138913901391 139213931394 
906 907 908 909 910 911 912 913 914 916 916 917 918 1395139613971398139914001401 1402140314041405140614071408140914101411 
923 924 925 926 927 928 929 930 931 932 933 934 935 1412141314141415141614171418141914201421 1422142314241426142614271428 
940 941 942 943 944 945 946 947 948 949 950 951 952 142914301431 14321433143414351436 143714381439 1440 1441 14421443 1444 1445 
957 958 959 960 961 962 963 964 965 966 967 968 969 1446 1447 1448 1449 14S) 1451 14521453 1454 1455 1458 14571458 1459 1460 1461 1462 

960 981 982 983 984 985 986 146314641465146814871468146914701471 14721473147414751476147714781479 

904 905 
921 922 

955 956 

972 973 974 975 976 977 978 




Atari Revisited 

r ell, it's done: Larry Niven and I finished 
Fallen Angels yesterday. It's scheduled for 
June publication from Baen Books, which 
means you ought to find it in bookstores in 
w 1 late May. 

Tomorrow I catch a plane for Washington, D.C., 
where the American Association for the Advancement 
of Science is meeting this year. AAAS is my hands- 
down favorite conference of the year, even better than 
the World Science Fiction Convention. Writing takes a 
lot of output; AAAS is where I get input. This year, I'm 
also paying my dues by giving a talk on uses of small 
computers in science, as well as a lecture at George 
Washington University on technology and society. 

Meanwhile, I'm recovering from minor but painful 
surgery: they had to slice a small skin cancer out of my 
face. The result is a Heidelberg scar and the world's 
worst black eye; it's the black eye that's relevant here. 
Because of it, I wasn't able to get some of the research 
done that I'd intended for this column. So it goes. As 
usual, there's still plenty to write about. 

Atari TT030 

The newest computer at Chaos Manor is the Atari 
TT030, which, as the name implies, is powered by the 
Motorola 68030 chip and is a sort of super Atari ST. 
The 68030 runs at 32 MHz, in tandem with a 68882 
floating-point math coprocessor and built-in cache 
memory. It certainly runs all the old Atari ST software 
I could find, including stuff written by my Russian 
friends at ParaGraph. I now have Perestroika, the 
Game, running on the TT030, and considering how 
graphics-intensive the game is, that's no bad test. It 
runs quite smoothly, if too fast. 

The TT030 is what the Mega 4 should have been: the 
case is sensibly designed, although still plastic; the de- 
tached keyboard looks professional, with normal func- 
tion keys instead of the cutie-pie slanted function keys 
on the 1050ST; and, in general, the machine has a 
solid, professional look and feel. 

Like all Atari machines, it has about a zillion ports, 
including game, mouse, serial, parallel, and a car- 
tridge port into which you can plug your Spectre Car- 
tridge from Gadgets by Small and have the equivalent 
of a fast Mac. For reasons not clear to me, the keyboard 
cable connects to the right side of the keyboard but the 
left side of the computer. 

The TT030 is one of the items I'd intended to do 
more with until my plans were drastically altered by 

Jerry takes a first look 
at the new Atari TT030, 

seeks a OUi word 
processor, and 
discourses on typefaces 

surgery; alas, I've had little time to work with it. 

My first impressions are quite favorable. Getting the 
machine running was no problem: I took it out of the 
box and set it on a stand. I looked in the manual and 
found that the machine was said to work with VGA 
color monitors, particularly multisync, so I connected 
it to the Tatung 14-inch monitor that came with the 
Gateway 2000 computer— the TT030 has a 15-pin VGA 
connector that the Tatung (or 
almost any VGA monitor) 
will plug into— and turned it 
on. The monitor flashed 
white. Then nothing hap- 
pened for a long time— so 
long that I believed something 
was broken. I turned off the 
machine, checked the con- 
nections, and tried again. 
Still nothing. 

I figured I had done some- 
thing wrong, so I unpacked 
the TTM195 monitor that 
came with the TT030, an 
enormous TTM195 VGA 
monochrome gray-scale 19- 
inch monitor, and connected 
it up. I turned on the system. 
The monitor flashed a couple 
of times and then settled down 
to a uniform white. Then 
nothing happened. I retrieved 
the box the TT030 had come 
in from the storage shed, 
since I figured I'd have to be 
sending the machine back. 
Then I had to look for the 
manual. When I came back, 
the operating system (TOS) 
was running and GEM was on 
the screen, looking nicer than 
I'd ever seen it, and there was 
no question the system was working. 

One of the programs on the TT030's hard disk was 
Mandelbrot, so I clicked on that; the result in mono- 
chrome was interesting but not very pretty, so I decided 
to give the Tatung monitor another try. I plugged that 
into the system and reset, and, lo, up it came; it just 
takes a while. 
In fact, the TT030 doesn't take all that much longer 


MAY 1991 'BYTE 93 

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than a big 486 to power up and do mem- 
ory tests; the difference is that the Atari 
TOS shows you nothing on the screen 
until it's ready to go to worlc, while DOS 
systems tell you what they're doing on 
power-up. Also, the TT030 seems to 
take a lot longer to power up when it's 
cold than it does when it has been run- 
ning a while. None of this is any big 
problem, and once it has been powered 
up, hitting the hardware reset button gets 
an instant reboot that takes no more than 
a few seconds. 

The Mandelbrot program runs inter- 
estingly, with repeated iterations that 
smooth out the jagged lines as you watch. 
It's a good demonstration of the TT030's 
VGA resolution. 

So far, I haven't found any of my older 
ST software that doesn't work on the 
TT030, although I do have to change the 
monitor's resolution. The TT030 has all 
the ST resolutions plus its own higher 
screen resolutions: 320 by 480 pixels 
with 256 colors or 640 by 480 pixels with 
16 colors, both from a palette of 4096 
colors. The monochrome mode is no 
slouch either, with 1280 by 960 pixels on 
the TTM195 monitor. When you change 
resolutions, the TT030 automatically 
does the equivalent of a reboot. 

I am told, though, that there are some 
compatibility problems with older ST 
software. This is particularly true with 
games and other software that have tim- 
ing loops , since the 68030 is much faster. 

I no longer have a lot of Atari software 
other than games. Alas, I seem to have 
mislaid my copies of Sundog and Dun- 
geon Master— doubtless they were put in 
a "safe place," which means they may 
not surface for years— but it's not fair to 
restrict the TT030 to games. This is a 
solid machine, with a GEM interface and 
a better keyboard than I started with in 
this business. I have a copy of Aladdin 
ST, which is the front-end program for 
GE's GEnie information service, and 
that works just fine. So does WordPer- 
fect and a bunch of other standard busi- 
ness software. The TT030 is definitely a 
lot more than a toy. 

The TT030 has a built-in MIDI port, 
which should interest musicians. I'm told 
that the Stacy Laptop, which is the porta- 
ble Atari ST, has become just about the 
de facto standard interface for keyboard 

I find that many Atari ST "power 
users" almost exclusively use it with the 
Spectre Cartridge because Mac software 
is so much better than Atari software. 
For instance, they use WriteNow, in- 
stead of any of the Atari ST word proces- 
sors, and Excel as a spreadsheet. I have 

not tried the TT030 with the newest ver- 
sions of Dave Small's Spectre Cartridge, 
but people who have tell me it works 

A tentative conclusion: the Atari 
TT030 system is good enough for almost 
anything you'd want to do with a com- 
puter. It's close to state of the art for 
music support. There's a wealth of ST 
software developed in Europe, and quite 
a lot is available here as well. However, 
the Atari does remain outside the main- 
stream of U.S. computer development. It 
supports a lot of stuff that would other- 
wise be obsolete, but it neglects advances 
in the state of the art. You generally can 
use it to get the job done. 

You'll probably be hearing more about 
the Atari TT030. 

Atari PTC1424 "Colour" Monitor 

I got this 14-inch monitor today. The 
manual tells me that it's a multisync 
monitor for all VGA systems, and it oper- 
ates on "240 Volt 50Hz mains," as well 
as informing me that it's a "colour" 
monitor. In fact, it plugs into the UO-V 
outlet, but the manual shows its Euro- 
pean origins. 

It works fine with the TT030, with no 
discernible difference from the Tatung 
multisync monitor. It also works with the 
Premier 9000 in place of the Zenith Flat 
Technology Monitor, but not very well: 
the vertical lock is way off, and it flick- 
ers. That's all right: when I plugged the 
31 -kHz Zenith FTM into the TT030, the 
display was readable, but it flickered. 
Putting the Atari PTC 1424 monitor with 
the Atari TT030 works fine. Apparently, 
the PTC1424 and the TT030 really were 
made for each other. 

The TTM195 monitor works wonder- 
fully well with the TT030, too. 


When I knew I was getting the TT030, 1 
looked for software. One of the first pro- 
grams to arrive was Tracker/ST, which 
is a combination database, mail-label 
generator, and mail-merge program. 

Tracker/ST is a near-perfect illustra- 
tion of the pros and cons of using the 
Atari computer for business. The good 
points are that the software is cheap and 
easy to learn. It does the job in a no- 
frills, unimaginative way. You really can 
set up and use this for business corre- 
spondence and mailing lists. On the 
other hand, it is unimaginative; the user 
interface has the flavor of CP/M during 
the early days of personal computing. 

Example: Tracker/ST includes sup- 
port for Epson 9- and 24-pin printers, 
NEC 24-pin printers, Diablo-compatible 

94 BYTE • MAY 1991 

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end Literature 314; Call Me, I'm interested 315 


daisy- wheel printers, and the Hewlett- 
Packard DeskJet and DeskJet Plus. No 
laser printers. Of course, you can use the 
Atari SLM804 laser printer, but you 
must select either the Diablo emulator or 
the Epson LaserBrain emulator; there's 
no provision to use the laser printer as it- 
self. They then add, "We feel that the 
LaserBrain emulator is a better choice, 
but it currently works only with a mono- 
chrome monitor. ..." 

As I said, shades of CP/M days. My 
original Diablo printer is in the Smithso- 
nian, and while I do bring out an NEC 
SpinWriter once a month to write the 
checks, it's only because I have a Spin- 
Writer and a vast supply of pin-feed 
checks. I wouldn't buy that setup today. 
On the other hand, there's a lot of older 
good-enough equipment out there on the 
used market, and it's nice to know there 
are still some systems that support it. 

More on all this when I get more soft- 
ware and have more time. 

Adventures in Musicland 

Some of you may remember a wonderful 
movie called The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. 
T. , with Hans Conried, Mary Healey, 

and Peter Lind Hayes. Alas, it wasn't a 
commercial success. It was later chopped 
mercilessly and released as Crazy Music, 
which wasn't a success, either. If you can 
find a videotape of the original, rent it or 
buy it, and watch it with your friends or a 

dventures in 

Musicland is a series 
of musicai games. 

bright child, or both. Whatever your in- 
terest in music, I doubt you'll regret the 

Clearly Dr. T's Music Software takes 
its name from that film; and while it's 
hardly an amusement for adults (which 
the movie was, or so I think), Adventures 
in Musicland does try to retain the flavor 

of having fun with music. The program 
is a series of musical games, which, al- 
though billed for "children of all ages," 
are most suitable for the younger end of 
the spectrum: 10 and under at a guess, 
although I could be off a bit. Adventures 
in Musicland tries to teach musical prin- 
ciples through repetition, games, and 
fun, with goofy illustrations taken from 
the old woodcut illustrations of Alice in 
Wonderland. You listen to tunes and try 
to reproduce them, turn over cards to 
match them, and build musical sym- 
bols—that sort of thing. 

This is one I'd recommend you look at 
before buying: some are going to like it a 
lot, but some will think it's a bit elemen- 
tary. The version I have is for the Mac, 
but there's also an Atari version. 

Mac Misgivings 

Every time I'm ready to conclude that the 
Mac is a stable and reliable machine, 
something happens to make me wonder. 
Case in point: I'd put Adventures in Mu- 
sicland up on SuperMac, the big Mac 
Ilfx with the 8924 GC video card. Ad- 
ventures worked fine. I played around 
with it enough that I could write about it. 

If a portable computer has Improved the 
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96 BYTE • MAY 1991 

Circle 31 3 on Inquiry Card. 

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The drive system is available in both 
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Circle 257 on inquiry Card (RESELLERS: 258). 


came over and wrote that, and went back 
to shut down the Mac. Pull down the File 
menu, click on Quit. Wait. And wait. 
And wait. Eventually it's clear: the ma- 
chine has hung up, thoroughly and com- 
pletely. There is no way to get it to re- 
spond to anything. 

Of course, a Mac II doesn't exactly 
have a power switch. There is, however, 
a power cutoff button on the back, and it 
was either press that or wait for dooms- 
day. Cycling the power did in fact cure 

the problem: the Mac came up with the 
Adventures file lying closed on the Desk- 
top, as it would have been had it been able 
to quit properly when I tried it with 

This meant I had to take the Adven- 
tures program down to Richard's Mac 
Plus and try it on that; it worked, and I 
could close the files and shut that down 
with no trouble. Then I remembered the 
problems I'd had before with the 8*24 
GC video card. I find that the virtual 

memory expansion program (it swaps 
from memory to a reserved area of your 
hard disk) will work with the Mac Ilfx, 
but not if the 8®24 GC card is in it, and 
this isn't virtual memory's fauh at all; 
Apple managed to violate some of their 
own standards with the 8®24 GC. 

The problem is, suppose I'd had some 
unsaved work somewhere on that Mac? 
One answer to that, I suppose, is "don't 
use MultiFinder," but that sure puts the 
Mac II at a competitive disadvantage. 
Another answer is "don't use the 8®24 
GC video card," and that makes a fair 
amount of sense given that even Apple 
finds the card buggy. A final one is 
"stick to the devil you know," which in 
my case is PC compatibles. None of these 
answers is totally satisfactory. 


It has been a long day. It included pack- 
ing for my trip to Washington. I'm look- 
ing forward to the trip because I'll get to 
visit Ezekial, my wonderful old Compu- 
Pro CP/M system that's now on display 
in the Smithsonian. I sure hope he's 
happy there. Anyway, before I left, I had 
to pay the bills for the month. Around 
here what happens is that as bills come in 
they are sorted into a huge portfolio. I 
then use my accounting program to re- 
cord all the bills, whereupon the check- 
writer portion of the program makes out 
checks. I sign them, and John stuffs 
them in envelopes and mails them. 

It all works fairly smoothly. I should, 
I know, set up to do it all with Quicken, a 
home and business finance program. 
Quicken can keep track of my checking 
and investment accounts. It works much 
the same as my accounting program. I 
could then print out the checks myself or 
send the electronic output from Quicken 
to the Checkfree system via a modem. 
Checkfree would then write the checks 
and mail them out. I can only plead that 
my system works reasonably well, and 
although I don't recommend my account- 
ing program to anyone else, I'm very fa- 
miliar with it. 

Another reason to stay with my pres- 
ent system is that it makes me look at 
every bill. The accounting program re- 
members what I usually pay to each ac- 
count, but it won't skip any. Before it will 
cut a check, it asks me if the amount is 
right. I designed it that way. 

And every month I find at least one bill 
that should not be there. Typically it 
works this way: some PR type works on 
me to look at a product. I plead that it's 
too much like something else I've al- 
ready written about, or it's in a product 
area that I generally have no interest in; 

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Excellence in charting the flow of Ideas! 

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98 B YTE • MAY 1991 

Circle 239 on Inquiry Card. 

Tektronix introduces the first color printer that's 
software-based PostScript-compatible for less than 
15000. Our new Phaser II SX is great for individuals or 
small groups. It works with Windows 3.0 or Macintosh 
QuickDraw using brilliant 300 dpi thermal-wax color. 

For bigger businesses, we have the Phaser II PX. 
It's PostScript-compatible with HP-GL and licensed 
by Pantone. It works with Macs, PCs, and UNIX 

workstations. At the same time. And, like all our other 
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So give us a call at 1-800-835-6100, Dept. 14J for 
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PoslScrlpt is a registered traderBark of Adobe Systems, Inc. Phaser Is a trademark of Ttklronlx, Inc. Copyright © 1991 Tektronix, Inc. All rights reserved. 
Circle 297 on Inquiry Card (RESELLERS: 298). 

§sional Level Performance 


386™ 33 FC Cache System 


• 386' 

• :«!()' 

• lilf) 

• iill> 

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I't, i ! ( ,l(hc 
i"), i ! ( .i<hc 


41 O 

I < I 

I I ' \; \ 


• Inlel (!();i«6 :i3MH7. CPU 

• 4MB 80ns RAM (cxp. to 16MB) 

• 64K Cache Memory (exp, to 256K) 

• 1.2MB High-Density Floppy Drive 

• 1.44MB High-Density Floppy Drive 

• 130MB Formatted IDE Hard Drive (19 ms) 

• 2 High Speed Serial Ports and 1 Par. Port 

• 8 Expansion Slots (6 available) 

• 102-Key Enhanced Keyboard 

• AMI BIOS w/ Setup and Diagnostics in ROM 

• Real-Time Clock with 5-Year Battery 

• 20U-Watt Power Supply 

• Super-VGA Monitor 
(1024x786 at .28mm d.p.) 

• Super- VGA Video Card w/512K 
(expandable to 1MB) 

• Microsoft DOS 4.01 or 3.3 (installed) 

• Microsoft Windows 3.0 (installed) 

• Microsoft Serial Mouse 

• Choice of Tower or Desktop Case 

• Free Delivery 

• Lifetime Toll-Free Technical Support 

• TRW One-Year On-Site Warranty 
Wide Variety of Options Available 


(Lease $98/mo,, 48 mos.) 386-25FC price $3,195 
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(0 1991 Automated Computer Technotogy Corporation. Atl rights tesen/ed. Othgr product names and trademarks used for comparison may be the property of other companies. Prices and specificattons are subject to cnango wuhoui notico. A.C J. cannot bo held rosponsi 
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» 1.2MB and 1.44MB High-Density Floppy Drives 

> 89MB Formatted IDE Hard Drive (19 ms) 

' 2 High Speed Serial Ports and 1 Parallel Port 

' 8 Expansion Slots (6 available) 

' 102-Key Enhanced Keyboard 

' AMI BIOS w/ Setup and Diagnostics in ROM 

' Real-Time Clock with 10-Year Battery 

■ 200-Watt Power Supply 

' Super-VGA Monitor (1024x786 at .28mm d.p.) 

■ Super- VGA Video Card w/512K (exp. to 1MB) 
' Microsoft DOS 4.01 or 3.3 (installed) 

' Choice of Tower or Desktop Case 
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• Super- VGA Video Card w/IMB 

• Microsoft DOS 4.01 or 3.3 (installed) 

• Microsoft Windows 3.0 (installed) 

• Microsoft Serial Mouse 

• Choice of Tower or Desktop Case 
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Circle 379 on Inquiry Card (RESELLERS: 380). 



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but that's never good enough. "You've 
got to look at this, you'll love it, what 
harm can it do?" Usually I continue to 
resist, but once in a while they'll wear 
me down. "All right," I say, "I'll try to 
look at it, but I probably won't get to it for 

"No problem! Thanks!" they say, and 
in due course a box of software, or a mo- 
dem or fax card, or some other gadget 
will arrive at Chaos Manor and be put in 
the incoming queue. So far, so good: but 
then, far too often, the next month as I 
am going through the bill box I will find 
a bill. Today, for instance, I have two, 
from two different outfits. One for some 
software; the other for a PC card that I 
reluctantly agreed to look at. The soft- 
ware is clearly marked "For Evaluation 
Only. Resale Prohibited." The invoice 
says that as well; but there it is, a bill for 
the full list price. 

Two bins down in the bill box is a dun- 
ning letter from a company's lawyers. 
The first time they sent a letter like that I 
sent a fax to the company asking for a re- 
turn authorization number so I could ship 
the stuff back. I then got a flurry of com- 
munications—from the company presi- 
dent, the marketing department, and half 
a dozen other officials— begging me to 
hang onto it and explaining it was all a 
mistake. Now they're threatening me 
with lawsuits. 

And yes, I know it's all bureaucratic 
foul-ups; but I also have to wonder about 
a company that can't manage their inter- 
nal affairs any better than that. If they 
treat me that way, how will they treat 
their customers? 

The truth is that I cannot possibly 
mention more than about 10 percent of 
the stuff that comes here, and I don't 
have a big staff to keep track of it all. I 
don't run a computer store, I don't sell 
anything, and I don't give anything away 
without the owner's permission; but be- 
yond that, I promise nothing. 

How Long Can You Tread Water? 

As I was writing the above, my son Alex 
called. I could hear noises in the back- 

"Tell your readers to be sure there's 
good drainage in the computer room," 
he said. 


"One of our clients is [a large newspa- 
per]. One of the urinals backed up and 
then a pipe burst, and the computer room 
was flooded. We were making coffer- 
dams of books and documents. I finally 
called the fire department. They are 
pumping the water out until we can get 
the plumbing fixed. " 

I never thought of drainage as one re- 
quirement of a computer room, but the 
lesson here should be obvious. Just be- 

cause modern tower-configuration mi- 
crocomputers don't need special air-con- 
ditioned rooms doesn't mean you don't 
have to pay some attention to where you 
put them. Especially if they run your 
whole newspaper. . . . 

To GUI or Not to GUI 

Everybody keeps telling me that this is 
the year of the graphical user interface 
(GUI). There are times when I believe it 

If I'm going to GUI, the absolute first 
thing I need is a word processor that lets 
me get my work done. At present, I use 
Q&A Write from Symantec, just as I use 
the Q&A Database to take care of my 
correspondence, including letters I get 
from readers, preliminary copies of the 
column for the people mentioned, prod- 
uct inquiries, and so forth. (Actually, 
Roberta and John use Q&A to record all 
that; I only get the benefits.) Symantec 
hasn't updated Q&A in a couple of years , 
and I keep telling myself there has to be 
something better; Q&A Write has some 
annoying bugs that must be overcome in 
newer products. 

So, although Q&A Write isn't exactly 
broke, there are things about it that need 
fixing; and there's also some pressure to 
find a GUI word processor I can live 
with. A GUI word processor has features 
such as charting and drawing capability. 
I do a lot of communication by fax now, 
and my Intel Satisfaxion board can take 
files with drawings and charts and send 
them out. What with Operation Desert, 
Storm and renewed interest in the SSX 
space shuttle, I do have reason to be able 
to send sketches and maps and such as 
part of my letters, so while I don't need 
drawing and chart capabilities every day, 
I sure would like to have them around. 

Ami Pro, a friend said. Has all the fea- 
tures you could ever want, and it's easy to 
learn and easy to use. I'd heard others 
say the same thing, so when a new copy 
of it arrived, I figured this was as good a 
time as any to install it. The Arche Leg- 
acy 386/33 has an updated beta copy of 
MS-DOS 5.0 (you're going to like MS- 
DOS 5.0 a lot), so I thought I'd start with 
that machine. Of course, I don't have 
Windows on the Arche, but Lotus sent a 
run-time (single application environ- 
ment) version of Windows 2.11, and that 
looked simple enough to install. After 
all, if I liked Ami Pro, I'd put it on the 
Premier 9000, which is the primary 
Windows machine, and if I liked it a lot, 
I'd consider installing Windows on my 
main machine and be done with it. 

The Arche, like many new machines, 
has a 5 14 -inch A drive and a 3V'2-inch B 

102 BYTE • MAY 1991 


Circle 62 on Inquiry Card. 

drive. I put the Setup/Install disk in tlie B 
drive, logged onto tliat, and started in. 
The first few dislis clearly have the Mi- 
crosoft Setup/Install program on them; 
this has been perfected over the years 
and works very well indeed. It had abso- 
lutely no problem with installing from 
the B drive. This continued until it asked 
for the Ami Pro Program Disk One. 

When that one came up, the environ- 
ment changed; I was out of Microsoft In- 
stall and into the Ami Pro Install pro- 
gram. It first asked for my name and my 
company name; then it wanted me to 
enter the serial number that was written 
on the disk. Some kind of copy-protec- 
tion scheme. When it got all that, it wrote 
to the disk. It demanded that I put Pro- 
gram Disk One into drive A. Since Pro- 
gram Disk One is a 3 '/a-inch floppy disk, 
it wasn't going to get into drive A. Noth- 
ing I could do would convince this 
wretched Install program to proceed. 
Moreover, most of the files on the disk 
are PKZIP-compressed files, so I 
couldn't just copy the stuff over. 

I ended up rebooting. Then, just be- 
cause I'm thorough, I put the new writ- 
ten-on Program Disk One back in the B 
drive, logged onto that, and typed In- 
stall. It all went fine, no problems. Ap- 
parently, it was the need to go play copy- 
protection games that confused the In- 
stall program: when it comes back, it has 
forgotten what drive it is installing from. 
Annoying, but not fatal. 

Once the installation glitches were 
done, I could try Ami Pro. The Arche 
has a Rollermouse trackball installed, so 
I'd be able to test that, too. The good 
news is that Ami Pro works fine with the 

The bad news is that I just don't like 
Ami Pro. 

This is a purely subjective opinion; as 
I've said, others I respect do like it. I can 
only describe my experiences and what I 
think is wrong. 

First, the screen's too busy. The GUI 
demands that there be little icons and 
windows all over the place; certainly. 
Ami Pro has them, lots of them. There's 
a Scissors icon, and a Paste Pot icon, and 
a whole bunch of others. Now, of course, 
since the program has a ton of features, it 
needs a way to tell you about them; but I 
don't need them staring at me when all 
I'm trying to do is write text! One silly 
little pop-up style-selection window even 
covers some of the text. Both the icons 
and the window can be turned off, but 
that's annoying. 

Still, none of that's fatal. I could prob- 
ably get used to it if I liked everything 
else. The trouble is that I don't like 

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everything else. I don't much care for the 
typefaces as they appear on-screen. The 
Courier, for instance, looks a lot like the 
one that was on my IBM Selectric. I 
wrote a few million words with that, so 
you'd think I'd like it, but I don't. I just 

So I changed to the equivalent of 
Times Roman, changed the point size 
from 10 to 12, and looked again; and 
again, it's just not very pretty. It's not 
easy to read, and it's unaesthetic on- 
screen. Printed out, all's well, meaning 
that Ami Pro is very likely good enough 
to make documents that you'll print; but 
in my line of work, I don't make paper 
copies often, sometimes not at all, while 
I do spend a good part of my day looking 
at the screen. 

Finally, when I typed words into Ami 
Pro in WYSIWYG mode, they would sit 
still for a moment, and then, when I let 
the keyboard stay idle for long, the words 
on-screen would jump around like fleas 
(i.e., they'd rearrange themselves to the 
proper proportional spacing). This is 
fine if you're not watching the screen, 
but it's enough to drive me out of my 
mind; I'd never be able to write with that 
going on. And, yes, I know that I can 
change the display mode from layout to 

So, I'm still looking for a word proces- 
sor to use with Windows, one that won't 

be too distracting for creative writing. 
On reflection, what I want is an editor 
that is character-based for writing, but 
which I can then zap to rearrange the 
screen into WYSIWYG. That way I'd 
have stability, yet be able to cut and paste 
in pictures, maps, and drawings when I 
need them. Indeed, Ami Pro would do 
just fine for that. I didn't have any prob- 
lems editing with it (although I still think 
the on-screen typefaces are unattrac- 
tive); it's when I wanted to do creative 
writing that the editor seemed to get in 
the way. 

I'll keep looking. More next month. 

There's another way to go: instead of 
finding a WYSIWYG editor, use a char- 
acter-based editor and a typescaler, such 
as MoreFonts from MicroLogic Soft- 
ware. A typescaler is a font generator; it 
takes a series of typefaces and builds 
fonts as needed. I expect I had better 

In standard typesetter terminology, a 
typeface is a style (e.g., Times Roman, 
Helvetica, Letter Gothic, and School- 
book). Many typeface names are trade- 
marked, but the typeface itself has been 
around long enough that it is in the public 
domain; thus, MicroLogic has Geneva 
rather than Helvetica, Tiempo rather 
than Times Roman, and so forth. To add 

MAY 1991 • BYTE 103 


to the confusion, some copycat typefaces 
are not quite the same as the originals. In 
any event, a particular type style is called 
a typeface. 

Each typeface has a series of faces and 
sizes. Faces are different variant styles, 
such as italic and boldface of the original 
type style. A font of type is a typeface, 
such as Times Roman, at a particular 
size, such as 10 point, in a particular 
face, such as italic. In the old letterpress 
typesetter days, a case of type would be 
specified by typeface (Times Roman) 
and size (12 point), and it would consist 
of a number of fonts of that typeface at 
that size. 

A case usually included the roman or 
normal font (called medium in sans serif 
typefaces), italic, boldface, bold italic, 
and small capitals; and these would be in 
both uppercase and lowercase. These 
were arranged in order so that a typeset- 
ter could grab exactly the letters needed 
to make up a line of type in a given font. 
Sometimes a letter would get into the 
wrong bin, and the typesetter wouldn't 
catch it; that happened often enough that 
"wrong font" has a standard proofread- 
er's symbol. 

Type vendors, particularly the newer 
ones who have appeared since the com- 
puter revolution, tend to use the word /onf 
when they mean^ce; thus, the claim of 
"12 fonts" usually means three type- 
faces, each in four faces, but scalable to a 

font of type 

Is a typeface at 
a particular size. 

very large number of sizes. Moreover, 
there are faces other than the traditional 
ones given above. 

MoreFonts uses yet another terminol- 
ogy: MicroLogic Software advertises 17 
typefaces. What they mean is 8 type- 
faces: their versions of Helvetica (Gene- 
va), Times Roman (Tiempo), Letter 

Gothic (Financial), Broadway (Show- 
time), Cooper Black (Burlesque), Coro- 
net (Pageant), University Roman (Op- 
era), and Bodini Bold (Poster). There are 
the traditional four faces (roman or nor- 
mal, italic, boldface, and bold italic) of 
the first three typefaces and one each of 
the last five. 

Alas, like most font packages, More- 
Fonts doesn't give you a small capital 
face; but, being a typescaler program, it 
can generate an almost unlimited num- 
ber of type sizes of the above, meaning 
that you can, with a bit of effort, make it 
generate small capitals to include in text 
works that need them. This is important 
to me because I use different faces of 
type to indicate different activities in my 
science fiction stories: Oath of Fealty, 
for example, used italic to indicate inter- 
nal dialogue, block capitals to indicate 
computer-generated announcements 
over a loudspeaker, and small capitals to 
indicate when a computer was "talking" 
directly to an implanted receiver in a 
character's head. 

The neat things about MoreFonts are 
that it's simple to use, works with all 
Windows 3.0 applications, and will also 

ABC Flowcharter for Windows 

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ABC Flowcharter™ makes drav^^ing and editing 
flowcharts easier than ever. It's loaded with 
features that help you make and edit charts in 
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(\) l-'-i- i""^'''r " '••-( Flowcharter's advanced link feature lets 

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104 BYTE • MAY 1991 

Circle 273 on Inquiry Card. 





System V Ml 
Release 4.0 

Finally, ESIX System V Release 4.0, the UNIX Operating System of 
choice is here. Based on AT&T* System V UNIX®, ESIX Release 4.0 
is a stable, fully backward compatible and robust operating system 
with enhanced features and functionalities. 

For all the current System V Release 3 .2 owners, ESIX offers an easy 
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s vs r E M V 


work with some character-based word 
processors, including WordPerfect, Xy- 
Write III Plus, and Microsoft Word 4.0 
or higher. It prints on most LaserJet, 
DeskJet, and compatible printers; and 
the letters that it puts onto a Windows 
screen are much more handsome than the 
ugly, jagged things that come with Win- 
dows 3.0. 

Tiempo is handsome in print. It's not 
so pretty on-screen; at least I've seen bet- 
ter in the sizes I prefer to work with. 

However, it's much better than what 
comes with Windows out of the box; and 
more important, I can use a character- 
based editor to create the text and then 
play around with WYSIWYG by chang- 
ing over to MoreFonts. 

A good typescaler may be one answer 
to my problems. MoreFonts is the only 
one I've had a chance to work with so far, 
so I can't say what others are like; but 
this one is good enough for much of what 
I want to do. It's fast, looks pretty good 

on-screen, and is easy to install. Al- 
though it has a limited number of type- 
faces, there are enough for me. Rec- 

Whither Networks? 
I have a question: Isn't it inevitable that 
someone will write a good shareware 
network program? I know, I know, very 
few people make money from shareware, 
so there's no incentive to write some- 
thing so complex; but then consider, 
there's already a shareware Lotus 1-2-3 
clone. LANtastic or something like it can 
do the hardware. There aren't any secrets 
to file and record sharing, and real hack- 
ers write as much to impress each other 
as for money. 

Add it all up, and you wonder; Why is 
NetWare so expensive? 

Just asking. 

Systat S.O 

I've written about Systat before; this is a 
program I wish mightily I had when I was 
an undergraduate, or in graduate school, 
or later in postdoctoral work. Put sim- 
ply, this program will do everything I 
was ever taught to do in statistical infer- 
ence, and then a lot more; and better, it 
will, studied diligently, teach you when 
to use it, as well as how. 

There is an old canard about lies, 
damned lies, and statistics; but the fact is 
that everything we know is based on sta- 
tistical inference. Some things are so 
overwhelmingly obvious that we treat 
them as established facts; but most of 
what we know isn't quite so clear as all 

One experiment in a high school phys- 
ics lab is to take repeated measurements 
of some object. No matter how carefully 
the measurements are done, there will be 
a dispersion, but if enough measure- 
ments are taken, an average will be close 
to the true measure. 

Close, but how close? If you're mea- 
suring a meter stick in inches, for exam- 
ple, suppose you get an average of 39.36. 
What are the chances that the true value 
is 39.37? This is a statistical question, 
and one quite easily answered. Suppose, 
though, that you can't measure the meter 
stick directly because you haven't any re- 
liable measuring tapes. Instead, you have 
to make some sticks that are as near the 
length of the meter stick as you can make 
them and measure them. Then you find 
that these sticks are made of different 
materials, and thus respond differently 
to changes in humidity. Can you still find 
the chances that the true length is 39.37 

Actually, you can; more important. 

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grams. 600 pages with companion disk. 
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PC System Programming 

An encyclopedia of PC technical and 
programming knowledge. Features parallel 
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Dept. B6 


Adventures in Musicland $79 

Dr. T's Music Software 

100 Crescent Rd. 

Needham, MA 02194 


fax: (617) 455-1460 

Circle 1 1 56 on Inquiry Card. 

After Dark 

Windows version $49.95 

Mac version $39.95 

Berkeley Systems 

1700 Shattuck Ave. 

Berkeley, CA 94709 

(415) 540-5535 

fax: (415) 540-5115 

Circle 1 157 on Inquiry Card. 

Ami Pro 1.2 .$495 

Lotus Development Corp. 
Word Processing Division 
5600 Glenridge Dr. 
Atlanta, GA 30342 
(800) 831-9679 
fax: (404) 255-9460 
Circle 1 1 58 on Inquiry Card. 

Atari TT030 

2 MB of RAM $2399.95 

4 MB of RAM $2799.95 

8 MB of RAM $3499.95 

PTC1424 Colour Monitor $549.95 

TTM195 Monochrome 

Monitor $995.95 

Atari Computer 

1196 Borregas 

Sunnyvale, CA 94088 

(408) 745-2000 

fax: (408) 745-4306 

Circle 1 1 59 on Inquiry Card. 

MoreFonts2.0 $149.95 

MicroLogic Software, Inc. 

1351 Ocean Ave. 

Emeryville, CA 94608 

(800) 888-9078 

(415) 652-5464 

fax: (415) 652-7079 

Circle 1 1 60 on Inquiry Card. 

Quicken 4.0 $59.95 


155 Linfield Ave. 

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(800) 624-8742 

(415) 322-0573 

fax: (415) 322-1597 

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Spectre Cartridge $299.95 

Gadgets by Small 

40 West Littleton Blvd., 

Suite 210-211 

Littleton, CO 80120 

(303) 791-6098 

fax: (303)791-0253 

Circle 1 1 62 on Inquiry Card, 


DOS (version 5.0) $895 

Mac (version 5.1) .$795 

Systat, Inc. 

1800 Sherman Ave. 

Evanston, IL 60201 

(708) 864-5670 

fax: (708) 492-3567 

Circle 1 163 on Inquiry Card. 

Tracker/ST $79.95 

Step Ahead Software 
496-A Hudson St. , Suite 39F 
New York, NY 10014 
(212) 627-5830 
Circle 1 1 64 on Inquiry Card. 

the case I have described is pretty simple 
compared with those routinely faced by 
social scientists, epidemiologists, crimi- 
nologists, and many others. It may be 
fashionable to denigrate statistics, but 
billions of dollars are allocated by statis- 
tical inferences. 

Statistics is popularly supposed to be a 
dry and dull subject, and in the old days 
it was; but a good part of that was due to 
the sheer tedium of the calculations re- 
quired. Systat and small computers take 
the sting out of that. 

I can't claim that Systat will make sta- 
tistical inference as exciting as Fallen 
Angels; but I suspect you would get more 
out of studying Systat than reading the 
book. (Actually, I recommend that you 
do both.) There are very few professions, 
business or science, that don't have ques- 
tions that can be answered only by statis- 
tical inference. 

Winding Down 

Well, I'm now in Washington, finishing 
this up on the Zenith SupersPort SX, 
which remains too heavy while travel- 

ing, but it's still the best machine to use 
when I get to where I'm going. It's time 
to get this on the wire. 

The two books of the month are reis- 
sues: Jacques Barzun's classic Teacher in 
America and Bertrand de Jouvenel's The 
Ethics of Distribution. Both are available 
from Liberty Fund (7440 North Shade- 
land Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46250, (317) 
842-0880). Liberty Fund has reprinted a 
number of classics in history and politi- 
cal science, and it's well worth getting 
their catalog. 

The gizmo of the month is After Dark, 
a screen saver from Berkeley Systems. 
This has security stuff like optional pass- 
words to get your screen back, but mostly 
it's just fun: you can put an aquarium, or 
flying toasters, on your PC's VGA 
screen. There is supposed to be a Win- 
dows version Real Soon Now. 

It may be all over in the desert by the 
time you read this, but if you're curious 
about the new wizard weapons, the easi- 
est way to learn is a $10 64-page illus- 
trated book called Desert Shield Fact 
Book (GDW, P.O; Box 1646, Blooming- 

ton, IL 61702). I sure wish some of the 
reporters would read this. They might 
get fewer things wrong. 

The computer book of the month is 
Undocumented DOS: A Programmer's 
Guide to Reserved MS-DOS Functions 
and Data Structures by Andrew Schul- 
man, Raymond J. Michaels, Jim Kyle, 
Tim Paterson, David Maxey, and Ralf 
Brown. The book, which comes com- 
plete with two disks of software, is pub- 
lished by Addison- Wesley. The title says 
it all. ■ 

Jerry Pournelle holds a doctorate in psy- 
chology and is a science fiction writer 
who also earns a comfortable living writ- 
ing about computers present and future. 
Jerry welcomes readers' comments and 
opinions. Send a self-addressed, stamped 
envelope to Jerry Pournelle, c/o BYTE, 
One Phoenix Mill Lane, Peterborough, 
NH 03458. Please put your address on 
the letter as well as on the envelope. Due 
to the high volume of letters, Jerry cannot 
guarantee a personal reply. You can also 
contact him on BIX as "jerryp. " 

108 BYTE • MAY 1991 



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Psychology. ChairmEmof the 
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Dr. Jerry PoumeUe has been a 
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W A Y N i 

The Missing Link 

' could tell from the despair in the caller's voice that 
this wasn't going to be a happy conversation. The 
problem was a LAN installation in a publishing 
company that had too many standards. Some of the 
M, people in the company used IBM PC-compatible 
computers. Others used Macintoshes for publishing 
support, while other users had workstations that were 
linked with Ethernet using TCP/IP. To make matters 
even more confusing, a few people in the company had 
a small Token Ring LAN that used LAN Manager, 
while another group was running Novell NetWare. The 
company wanted to connect all users together, but it 
seemed impossible without making a majority of users 
change to something else. 

While a little extreme, the condition that this com- 
pany found itself in was not all that unusual. Many 
companies suffer from a LAN implementation strategy 
that is more accidental than anything. Usually what 
happens is that some workgroup finds that it needs the 
services of a LAN badly enough to convince the com- 
pany to spend money on it. It gets a LAN installed and 
everything's fine. Somewhere else in the organization, 
some other group decides the same thing, gets its re- 
quest funded, and installs a LAN. Since neither group 
has ever heard of the LAN that the other has, they pro- 
ceed independently and end up with two systems that 
are mutually incompatible. 

In the end, most large organizations that started out 
with LANs early ended up with islands of connectivity. 
People who were in these groups could communicate 
with each other, but they could not communicate with 
the rest of the company. Now that LANs have become 
widely accepted, the organizations involved have begun 
to move to a corporate enterprise network. The problem 
is, what do they do about those islands of connectivity 
that have existed for some time now? Should they find 
ways to integrate them, or should they make everyone 
change to a single standard? 

Standardization vs. Integration 

There are good reasons why some companies opt for 
standardization instead of working to find a way to inte- 
grate a variety of users into an overall heterogeneous 
LAN. When the Federal National Mortgage Associa- 
tion installed LANs in its headquarters and in its re- 
gional offices, for example, the organization chose to 
go with a Token Ring LAN and to convert any noncon- 
forming LANs to that protocol. Likewise, the company 
standardized on Novell NetWare. In the case of the 

FNMA, this made sense, because relatively few LANs 
existed, and the cost of conversion was less than the cost 
of having to manage different kinds of LANs. 

Unfortunately, this isn't true in every organization. 
Sometimes there are good technical reasons to have dif- 
ferent LAN standards. Unix machines, such as Sun or 
Apollo workstations, aren't going to run NetWare. A 
Mac is going to work best with AppleShare. Some 
Structured Query Language 
database servers require that 
they be on a LAN Manager- 
based LAN. Other applica- 
tions require Novell NetWare. 
In those cases, giving up a 
particular type of LAN would 
also mean giving up a service 
you need. If you'd rather not 
do that, then you need to find 
a way to integrate heteroge- 
neous LANs. 

Getting LANs of 
differing pedigree 

talking to one another 
is no picnic, 
but it is possible 


The two most common con- 
nections between different 
types of LANs are between 
Apple and Novell, and be- 
tween TCP/IP and Novell. 
This is because Novell owns 
approximately 70 percent of 
the LAN marketplace; conse- 
quently, the vast majority of 
communications with differ- 
ent LANs involves Novell 
NetWare in some way. Fortu- 
nately, most of the means for 
connecting different LANs 
are available for Novell Net- 
Ware, which works out nice- 
ly. A few users also need to 
connect their LAN Manager 
LANs to NetWare LANs. For 
those users, the options list is much shorter. 

Apple connectivity is becoming quite common now 
that Apple has lowered the price of Macs so that they at 
least approach rationality. In offices where there are 
only Macs, the choice is simple. All you need to do is 
connect an AppleTalk network to each machine, and 
you're in business. If you also have some IBM PC- 
compatible computers, however, you need to have 


MAY 1991 • BYTE 111 


something more capable. 

There are two good ways to connect a 
LAN of IBM compatibles to a Macintosh 
LAN. The first, used by Novell, is sim- 
ply to support AppleShare within the file 
server. The second, used by Banyan, is 
to use a bridge to the Macs. Both choices 
work well, and both have their support- 
ers. I've never noticed any overwhelm- 
ing reason to use one approach over the 
other. You should know, though, that as 
this is written, you can only use Macs 

with Novell NetWare 286. The software 
for NetWare 386 is still not yet being 
shipped, although this may change soon. 
In any case, Banyan's bridge to Apple is 
available for all its products and has been 
for some time. 

Installation of a bridge to an Apple 
network requires you to provide a com- 
puter and two network interface cards — 
one for the protocol you're using on the 
LAN and the other for AppleTalk— and 
to install the bridge software on that 

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computer. This means that you must ded- 
icate a computer to the task. With Ban- 
yan, this is your only choice; with Net- 
Ware 286, you can use a bridge or use the 
server directly. 

Installing the Apple network on the 
NetWare server requires that you install 
an AppleTalk card in the NetWare serv- 
er. This counts as one of the four network 
interface cards that NetWare can support 
in the same server. Once you install the 
card, you have to install a software driver 
called a value-added process. The VAP 
allows the Apple network to have access 
to the NetWare file server. This also 
means that it can share files with any 
other computer on the network. 

With either Banyan's Vines or with 
Novell NetWare, the PC-based LAN ap- 
pears to a Mac user as if it were a stan- 
dard AppleShare network. Access to the 
network simply involves clicking on the 
network's icon. It then appears as if it 
were any other disk drive. The only real 
difference is that many of the PC data 
files cannot be used by Mac software 
without some conversion. In a few cases, 
such as with Microsoft Word and with 
WordPerfect, the conversions are simple. 

Uniquely Unix 

As the workstation market grows, and as 
more companies follow the U.S. govern- 
ment's lead into accepting Unix as a stan- 
dard operating system, the need to con- 
nect Unix-based machines to PC LANs 
grows as well. The government POSIX 
standard and the GOSIP standard that 
accompanies it are providing a basis for 
compatibility that really hasn't been part 
of Unix before, despite the claims of the 
Unix believers. POSIX, of course, is 
really Unix by a different name. GOSIP 
is the communications standard for PO- 
SIX networks, and it includes TCP/IP. 
The GOSIP standard used to exclude 
TCP/IP, but users refused to give in, so 
the standard was changed. 

In any case, Unix-based systems and 
close relatives usually communicate 
using TCP/IP. Other minicomputer and 
mainframe systems can also use TCP/IP, 
as can some wide-area networks. Most 
LANs, except for those of Unix ma- 
chines, don't use it. As you can see, 
these two types of networks are both too 
important to ignore each other. But right 
now they do, although a number of ven- 
dors have solutions. 

As with the Apple networks above, 
there are ways to connect PC-based and 
TCP/IP-based networks. These connec- 
tivity solutions typically involve bridges, 
gateways, and routers. When you're con- 
necting with a Unix-based system, you 

112 BYTE • MAY 1991 

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might find yourself using all three some- 
where in the scheme. 

Part of the reason for the complexity is 
that Unix systems and TCP/IP normally 
use Ethernet as the basis for their LAN 
systems. While it's now possible to run 
TCP/IP over Token Ring, it's still pretty 
rare. PC LANs, of course, can use any of 
several LAN protocols, although Ether- 
net, ARCnet, and Token Ring are the 
most common. This means that you need 
to connect a PC-based LAN that might 
be running on nearly anything to another 
LAN that's running on Ethernet. If your 
PCs are also using Ethernet, that simpli- 
fies the solution, but only partly. 

If you're not already using Ethernet 
for your PCs, you will need to use a 
bridge to Ethernet. I talked about bridges 
in my March column, so you might want 
to check there to find out more about 
those devices. Once you've solved the 
Ethernet connectivity, you need to get 
your network operating system to under- 
stand TCP/IP. 

Two common approaches exist for 
connectivity between LANs that involve 
TCP/IP. One approach, used by The 
Wollongong Group and others, employs a 

router. The other, used by Racal-Inter- 
Lan, uses a gateway. Both approaches 
work well, although the approach you 
choose may depend to some extent on 
what you're already using for a LAN. 
The Wollongong approach to TCP/IP 

, AN standards 
have been a 
moving target 

for some time mw. 

connectivity puts a router on the Ethernet 
that looks for packets addressed to a 
TCP/IP device and converts them. The 
router consists of an IBM PC compatible 
with a network interface card and the 
company's TCP/IP router software. One 

connection to the LAN is required for the 
Ethernet and another for whatever else 
you're using. The router also looks for 
TCP/IP packets destined for a device on 
the PC LAN and converts them. The 
Wollongong device will support several 
types of LANs, although its best perfor- 
mance seems to be with Novell IPX- 
based LANs. 

For LANs that are already based en- 
tirely on Ethernet or that are bridged 
elsewhere, Wollongong makes a product 
called WIN/TCP for DOS, which allows 
communications between a DOS work- 
station and a TCP/IP device. The DOS 
workstation can then access the TCP/IP 
device, and the device can send informa- 
tion to the LAN using TCP/IP's file 
transfer protocol to copy the file to a 
workstation. Since the file can be trans- 
ferred to the virtual drive that appears 
when you're using the LAN, this means 
that you can move files from a TCP/IP 
device to the network file server. 

Racal-InterLan uses a hardware solu- 
tion for connectivity between Novell's 
IPX LANs and TCP/IP. Its latest prod- 
uct, called TCP Server, is a package of 
two circuit cards and some software that 


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114 BYTE • MAY 1991 

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With LAlVtastic Voice, talk is cheap,,. 

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LANtastic VPI is a set of 
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which contains pointers to blocks of 

data which can be used for PLAY and 

RECORD. Commands can be no-wait, so the 
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ately while the VPI works in the background. 

When the VPI command completes, your 
POST routine is called. 

So make your software laugh, sob, growl 
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Circle 34 on Inquiry Card. 



must be installed in an IBM PC compat- 
ible. It provides full bidirectional con- 
nectivity between NetWare 286 or Net- 
Ware 386 and any TCP/IP LAN. The 
two cards include the company's server 
card and NP600/XL network interface 
card. You will need to provide another 
compatible network interface card. The 
Racal-InterLan product allows users on 
the TCP/IP network to have complete ac- 
cess to the NetWare LAN, just as if they 
were NetWare users. This is a more com- 
plete solution than the Wollongong ap- 
proach, which supports mail and file 
transfer but not full interoperability. 

Racal-InterLan also developed a solu- 
tion to the thorny problem of providing 
interoperability between NetWare and 
LAN Manager networks. Using a prod- 
uct called the LMNS, users with Net- 
Ware and version 1.x of LAN Manager 
could have complete interoperability. 
Unfortunately, Racal-InterLan found 
that the rapidly shrinking LAN Manager 
market wouldn't support the product, so 
it withdrew it, but the company will still 
sell it to LAN Manager 1.x users on re- 
quest. If you have version 1.x and a 


(price not available) 

TCP Server $5995 

Racal-InterLan, Inc. 
155 Swanson Rd. 
iBoxborough, MA 01719 
(508) 263-9929 
Circle 1221 on Inquiry Card. 

Macintosh NLM 

20 users $895 

100 users $1995 

250 users $2995 


(price not available) 
Novell, Inc. 
122 East 1700 South 
Provo, UT 84606 

(800) 453-1267 

(801) 379-5900 

Circle 1222 on Inquiry Card. 

WIN/Route for DOS $149 


One user $395 

20 users $3495 

The Wollongong Group, Inc. 
1129 San Antonio Rd. 
Palo Alto, CA 94303 
(415) 962-7100 
Circle 1223 on Inquiry Card. 

Novell LAN and have to connect them, 
LMNS is an excellent solution. 

The Novell Approach 

When Novell announced NetWare 386, 
the company said that it would provide 
support for LANs of many types, includ- 
ing AppleTalk and TCP/IP. While this 
support hasn't appeared as of this writ- 
ing, the products are expected to appear 
along with the release of NetWare 3 . 1 1 in 
late March, so you'll probably be able to 
find them by the time you read this. The 
Novell solution is to base everything in 
the file server. To connect your Macs, 
for example, you will make sure that you 
have loaded a software driver called a 
NetWare loadable module, and the Mac- 
intosh connectivity should be transpar- 
ent. The TCP/IP connectivity is sup- 
posed to work the same way. 

Complete interoperability is still a 
ways off for TCP/IP. The standard TCP/ 
IP support that's shipped with NetWare 
3.11 simply allows NetWare servers to 
use a TCP/IP backbone to communicate 
with each other. The LAN Workspace 
for DOS gives workstation connectivity 
to TCP/IP LANs. Because Novell has al- 
ready pledged to support Open Systems 
Interconnection and GOSIP, there's a 
good chance that the level of interopera- 
bility will increase as time goes by. Right 
now, though, you're still restricted to 
third-party products. Fortunately, some 
of them, including those from Wollon- 
gong and Racal-InterLan, are superb. 

Putting It All Together 

Now that you've seen that some types of 
interoperability are indeed possible, it's 
time to see how you'd make it all work. 
You've probably gathered that nearly any 
LAN can find a way to communicate 
with TCP/IP. In the case of otherwise in- 
soluble problems, it's always possible to 
use TCP/IP as a way of providing limited 
communications between one type of 
LAN and another. Unfortunately, you 
won't always get the full interoperability 
that you may want, but you will get E- 
mail, file transfer, and possibly network 
management. If this is a sufficient level 
of support, then connectivity between 
different types of LANs is possible. 

Likewise, most network operating sys- 
tems have a way to connect with Macs. 
Now that Apple has announced that Macs 
will come with Ethernet as a standard, 
this connectivity may become easier. On 
the other hand, it may not. Apple, as is 
frequently the case, was confronted with 
the option of working within accepted in- 
dustry standards or finding a way to keep 
the price to its customers up a little, and it 

opted to ignore industry standards and 
keep the price up. This means that while 
you will probably be able to connect your 
new Macs to an Ethernet LAN, it's not 
clear whether it will do you any good. 

If there is one area of enterprise net- 
working that remains more difficult than 
it probably should be, it's interconnect- 
ing different kinds of LANs. Part of the 
reason for this is that LAN standards 
have been a moving target for some time 
now. Another reason is that most vendors 
of LAN operating systems would prefer 
that you stay with their products exclu- 
sively. While this may be understandable 
from their viewpoint, it does little to 
meet your needs unless the LAN vendors 
provide a total solution. At this point, no 
vendors provide that kind of solution, 
unless your needs are quite simple. 

Right now, it looks to me as if the 
LAN business is still in the process of 
settling out after the shock from 3Com's 
abandonment of the network-operating- 
system market. 3Com was a major ven- 
dor of LAN Manager, and the company 
announced in January that it was quitting 
that market entirely. This and other 
moves may indicate that LAN Manager is 
sinking, perhaps permanently. At this 
point, it's clear that the LAN Manager 
market share is shrinking in all segments 
except those users who insist on a true- 
blue approach to networking. Even this 
may not last long, as IBM and Novell are 
already having serious discussions about 
an IBM move to NetWare as a standard. 

If LAN Manager does indeed suffer 
another blow, users will find their prob- 
lems suddenly simpler, because there 
will be fewer players in the market to 
consider. Essentially, the PC LAN mar- 
ket will belong to Novell and Banyan. Of 
course, the fact that it's simpler also 
means that there's less choice and fewer 
competitors, and that's not likely to help 
users in the long run. ■ 

Wayne Rash Jr. is a contributing editor 
for BYTE and a principal and technical 
director of the Network Integration Group 
of American Management Systems, Inc. 
(Arlington, VA). He consults with federal 
and private sector clients on microcom- 
puters and communications, and he is co- 
author of two books for business network 
users: The Executive Guide to Local 
Area Networks and The Novell Connec- 
tion. You can contact him on BIX as 
"waynerash," or in the to.wayne con- 

Your questions and comments are wel- 
come. Write to: Editor, BYTE, One 
Phoenix Mill Lane, Peterborough, NH 

116 BYTE 'MAY 1991 

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Circle 70 on Inquiry Card. 

oundtable is a forum in which BYTE 
editors, columnists, and contributors debate 
^ key issues that affect how you purchase and 

use hardware and software. The "conversations" 

take place on BIX. 

TOM THOMPSON: The outlook for both the U.S. 
economy and environment seems grim. According to 
the Administration, our energy policy is going to pro- 
mote little conservation. 

So we'll still be driving inefficient cars, polluting 
the air, while domestic oil exploration could damage 
our environment. But with the network of wires, cables, 
and fibers, why can't more employees telecommute 
via modem? If a significant percentage of employees 
worked via modem out of their homes, we would win in 
several areas: less oil consumption, less pollution, and 
less traffic, which would give our crumbling infra- 
structure a reprieve. But can telecommuting work? 
Will we miss the synergy of minds meeting around the 
coffee pot? Will some people simply goof off? Is 
enough of an "electronic infrastructure" in place for 
telecommuting to work? 

STAN MIASTKOWSKI: From 1982 to 1986, 1 worked 
for a company whose entire structure was based on tele- 
commuting. The company had about 150 employees. I 
was publications manager and had a staff of eight writ- 
ers and editors scattered across the country. 

Telecommuting is tough. Managers have to trust 
their employees, and the people who work for them 
have to be those ever-popular "self-starters" who can 
work independently. I had the most luck hiring people 
who had spent substantial parts of their careers work- 
ing as freelancers. 

The biggest problem wasn't lack of communication. 
We had E-mail, daily telephone talks, and weekly con- 
ference calls. The biggest problem was being alone in 
the house most of the time. After a while, you feel in- 
credibly isolated (especially in a rural area). Produc- 
tivity, however, was very high. People were free from 
the tyranny of the time clock and could attune their 
work to their body clocks. Telecommuting also re- 
quires top management that's committed to the idea and 
willing to back it. 

Senior News Editor 

BEN SMITH: I spent the year before starting at BYTE 
telecommuting. At least once a day , I would walk to the 
neighbors' just to see some human beings. My work 
was solid, though. Unlike working at BYTE, my phone 
rang only when there was something important or a 
scheduled, daily conversation. I found that I worked an 
easy 10-hour day, because I 
was able to mix work with 

doing the household chores, DON CRABB 

which provided a nice break Contributing Editor 

from sitting at my desk. 


OWEN LINDERHOLM: It Editor in Chief 

does work, but telecommut- 
ing isn't a good substitute for 
human contact. I only get to 
know all of you by way of the LARRY LOEB 

rather impersonal conferenc- Consulting Editor 

ing system on BIX, occasional 
phone conversations, and rare 


personal meetings. The per- Senior News Editor 

sonal meetings are extremely tmmnvu m^t. ,ir,^,m, ■ - 

important. They allow me to '^^^^ POURNELLE 

add some real images and in- Contributing Editor 

sights when I am dealing with WAYNE RASH JR. 

you all on BIX. I can under- Contributing Editor 

stand some of the subtleties, 
crosscurrents, and undercur- 
rents much better than I can 
with people I've never met. 

It is very important to have 
a conferencing system like Teclinical Editor 

BIX. E-mail doesn't work be- tqi^, THOMPSON 

cause It IS too difficult for Senior Editor at Large 

more than one person to ac- 
cess a single message and, JON UDELL 
hence, whatever ideas and Senior Editor at Large 
thoughts it contains. 


JERRY POURNELLE: Ar- Consulting Editor 

thur D. Little has for years en- 
couraged senior analysts to 

stay home at least two days a week, but also insists they 
come to the office for two days. Everyone is supposed 
to be there the same two days, as I recall. 

FRED LANGA: I recently spoke with some laptop de- 
signers toying with the idea of bundling something like 
PC Anywhere or Carbon Copy with their next round of 

Senior Editor, Features 


MAY 1991 • BYTE 121 

Circle 280 on Inquiry Card. 

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machines. Those programs allow you to 
control your work PC from your laptop. 
It's a great idea that should give telecom- 
muting a boost. 

I've found it immensely useful, for ex- 
ample, to phone my at-work PC from 
some hotel or from home and access the 
office LAN to use the BYTE archives or 
to review files for upcoming issues. If I 
need to, say, send a memo to the publish- 
er, I can create text on my laptop or at 
home and print it out on the office laser 
printer where the office manager can 
grab it and treat it exactly as if I were sit- 
ting in my normal office. 

None of this replaces face-to-face con- 
tact or completely eliminates the need for 
a central office. But it sure can maximize 
the work you can do away from your nor- 
mal desk, and it allows you to stay pro- 
ductively mobile for longer periods than 
ever before. 

LARRY LOEB: The essence of a meeting 
can be captured on a conferencing sys- 
tem, as this very conference shows. Each 
message interacts with those that have 
come before it, extends a thought, and 
crystallizes it. Body language and sub- 
liminal messages get lost over a phone 
line. But for discrete, task-oriented work 
(like writing articles), conferencing is 
the way we will be working in the future. 

DON CRABB: Remote telecommuting 
software that incorporates sampled video 
(for a sort of Keystone Cops look) dis- 
played on each telecommuter's screen 
helps to restore that lost body language. 
I've used the Farallon setup remotely, 
with nothing fancier than a couple of in- 
expensive 8mm Sony Camcorders feed- 
ing their sampled signal, plus com- 
pressed voice, into the text stream of the 
meeting. It's impressive what the pic- 
tures can bring to the mix and the "live 
real meeting" feel. 

WAYNE RASH JR.: Even if not every- 
one has E-mail, getting such a thing is 
clearly within the capabilities of those 
who wish to have such. Actually, even if 
telecommuting required a fax machine, 
computer, modem, and E-mail account, 
it would require far less in financial and 
energy resources than does the purchase 
of an automobile. Goofing off isn't a 
problem, since there are ways to measure 
productivity that don't require a time 
clock, and ways of defining a job that 
don't require a person's presence. 

Much work is done in ways that don't 
lend themselves to telecommuting. Some 
of the most important ideas in any com- 
pany come from the dynamics of people 

122 BYTE* MAY 1991 

Circle 232 on inquiry Card. 

— r 



Circle 208 on Inquiry Card. 

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meeting in the physical presence of oth- 
ers. A great deal comes from a person's 
words, but a great deal also comes from 
people's gestures— their body language 
if you will— and even how they conduct 
themselves at a meeting while they aren't 
speaking. Much of this information can- 
not be carried over the line on a confer- 
ence call, much less carried in E-mail. 
The bandwidth of electronic media is 
still far too narrow for the communica- 
tions that people actually use. 

The result is that in a telecommuting 
workplace, those who get ahead will still 
be those who are physically present at 
least part of the time, simply because it 
will be their ideas that are presented 
most effectively. This will limit telecom- 
niuting to certain specialities (like CO- 
BOL coding) that can be done by solitary 
workers, and even those will require 
some physical presence. In any case, 
while telecommuting is technically pos- 
sible, I'm not sure that it's socially possi- 
ble yet, and I don't think it will be until 
we get communications that work with 
more than just what we can currently 
squeeze through a modem. 

PETER WAYNER: Everyone has prob- 
ably heard the apocryphal urban folklore 
about the young office star who would 
come in at 4 a.m., get all the work done 
by 9 a.m., and then spend the rest of the 
day chatting with everyone. Pleased his 
boss and knew everything about the com- 
pany. Electronics don't work for that. 

CRABB: Wow! Telecommuting is only 
useful for certain specialities like CO- 
BOL coding? Give me a break, Wayne! A 
1989 Department of Commerce survey 
showed that almost 28 million people 
either worked at home as sole entrepre- 
neurs or as part of their office job. An- 
other 10 million are expected over the 
next two years to do more and more of 
their office work at home as telecom- 
muters. These figures already indicate 
that the home office and home workplace 
are far more than just places where speci- 
ality workers are and will be working. 

MIASTKOWSKI: I see little possibility 
of full-time telecommuting becoming a 
reality in the next five years or so. In my 
experience, the biggest roadblock is old- 
style management that thinks employees 
must be watched and controlled. Admit- 
tedly, some people do fall into this cate- 
gory. But employees who are trusted and 
rewarded can give companies incredible 
productivity. I think telecommuting will 
ease into reality, with more and more 
people spending a couple days at home 

and a couple at the office. 

Another problem with working full- 
time at home is that there's no easy break 
between home and work. When I worked 
at home full-time, I often felt as though I 
never left work, often going back into my 
office after dinner. It's a habit that's hard 
to break. Even though I now spend a full- 
time week at the BYTE office, I often 
spend my evenings working at home. 

LINDERHOLM: People using E-maii 
and conferencing systems seem, to be 
ruder than they are in person (perhaps to 
do with "talking to a machine"). I be- 
lieve that studies show that frequently the 
same individual will be a lot ruder in 
communicating over E-mail than in per- 
son or by letter. If it is true, then it is a 
serious hindrance to telecommuting and 
will be a social issue for telecommuters. 

JON UDELL: On the other hand, it's 
often noted that E-mail exerts a kind of 
social leveling effect— that is, it flattens 
a hierarchy and puts participants on a 
more equal footing than they would be 
face to face. Some corporations value 
that. Others, I suppose, would be threat- 
ened by it. 

KEN SHELDON: It can work, but it 
sometimes doesn't. Case in point: I came 
into the office on Saturday before head- 
ing out for a business trip, hoping to get a 
lot of work done. A lot of the things I had 
to do involved BIX. Guess what? BIX 
was down for maintenance for the couple 
of hours that I was in the office. I was ex- 
tremely frustrated. 

CRABB: The inherent unreliability (be- 
cause of complexity, overstressed sys- 
tems, and other reasons) argues for 
everyone who plans to use electronic 
communications systems to have several 
backups ready to go. Something like a 
macro that lets you step through BIX, 
MCI Mail, and CompuServe until you 
make a connection and get through. 

This kind of intelligent networking 
(where a background agent runs through 
the connection possibilities for you, 
makes the connection, dumps your mes- 
sages, downloads new mail, and so on) 
might help ameliorate the inherent unre- 
liability in each service. Remote systems 
that accomplish this intelligent connec- 
tion without any user control (the way a 
good private-branch-exchange switch 
automatically selects the cheapest and 
most reliable outgoing long-distance tele- 
phone service for each call it will com- 
plete) might be the real breakthrough 
technology in portable computing, m 

124 BYTE • MAY 1991 

PC Ma^fazine's 

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Circle 143 on Inquiry Card. 



Microsoft's OLE technology and HP's New Wave make it easier to combine 
text and graphics in "compound documents" for Windows 


hen I did my Ph.D. thesis "on the computer," more years ago than I 
care to admit, I was faced with 2 hours of pasteup every time I pro- 
duced a draft. The thesis was done on the mainframe, all right, but the 
text was printed out on a line printer while the figures came off a 
Calcomp plotter. 

My thesis was, in fact, a "compound document": It combined materials from 
several sources on one page. This magazine article is another compound docu- 
ment: It combines text, screen images, and artwork on the printed page. Corpo- 
rate annual reports are another good example; typically, they combine text, fi- 
nancial statements, photographs, charts, and artwork in a slick package designed 
to make investors feel good about a company. 

One of the goals of the desktop publishing revolution has been to eliminate the 
pasteup step from the printing process. For very high-quality documents, the 
goal is technologically unrealistic: You're just not going to get photographic 
quality from today's scanners and laser printers— certainly not anywhere near 
the quality of good four-color lithography. But for less demanding documents— 

an internal memo on fourth-quarter sales, 
B VTC for instance— the technology is more than 

Documents are no longer just 
static text. HP's New Wave 
and Microsoft's recently an- 
nounced OLE are two tech- 
nologies that let documents 
contain text, graphics, and 
spreadsheets that are linked 
together and automatically 
update each other. 

Out of Data and Missing Linics 
So why don't more people produce com- 
pound documents? Because it's a pain in 
the neck, that's why. Consider the classic 
example of a spreadsheet that's used in a 
word processing document. Say, for in- 
stance, that the spreadsheet was produced 
by Excel and is named SHEET.XLS. You 
use the Copy command in Excel; then you 
can either Paste or Paste Link in your 
word processor, such as Word for Win- 

If you choose Paste in Word, what you'll 
get is an image of SHEET.XLS as it existed 

126 BYTE' MAY 1991 


MAY 1991 -BYTE 




Client (document) 


dink to server document> 

<more text> 

Server (spreadsheet) I 












Figure 1 : Paste Link uses the Clipboard to tell the application 
what to link, and it uses DDE to do the transfer. The document 
acts as a client requesting the information from the server, 
the spreadsheet. Behind the scenes, there is a conversation 
between the client and the server that links the data. 



link to 




IVlove file as part of disk reorganization 

File no longer exists! 

Link to 

Figure 2: With a DDE link, if you move the referenced file, 
the link will end up pointing to a nonexistent file. 

the moment it was created. You can now format the spreadsheet 
as a table and produce your memo. Pasting doesn't involve Dy- 
namic Data Exchange (DDE); it uses the Clipboard to pass all 
the information. However, when the spreadsheet changes (e.g. , 
when the new sales numbers come in on the second day of the 
month), you'll have to Copy the spreadsheet to the Clipboard 
and Paste it over the old image. If you forget to update the 
Word document after you update the spreadsheet, you'll have 
the embarrassing experience of circulating a memo containing 
last month's numbers. 

On the other hand, you could choose Paste Link from Word 
for Windows. Paste Link uses the Clipboard to tell the applica- 

tion what to link; the actual linking is done using DDE. After 
you choose Paste Link, you'll get a little dialog box asking if 
you want the link to update anytime the sheet changes; if you 
say yes, Excel will control when updates happen. If you say no, 
Word will control when updates happen. You'll also see the 
specification for the link, which may be something like E: \ EX- 
CEL \SHEET.XLS. (See figure 1.) 

Assuming that the DDE transfer works (and it might or 
might not, depending on how you've configured your system), 
you'll see the spreadsheet information appear in your docu- 
ment, and you'll be able to format it as a table and print it. Next 
month when you bring up the document it should automatically 
try to reestablish the link and get the updated spreadsheet. The 
key word here is should— the automatic update doesn't always 
work, either. 

Here's why: Suppose you give a copy of your document 
to someone else in your company. Inside the document, there 
will be a field with the information DDE "E:\EXCEL\ 
SHEET.XLS. " But SHEET.XLS won't be on your colleague's 
E drive. That person may not even have an E drive and, most 
likely, won't have an E:\EXCEL directory. Even if you give 
him or her a copy of SHEET.XLS, that person will have to edit 
the DDE field in Word to point to the directory in which he or 
she chooses to place the spreadsheet (see figure 2). 

It isn't so bad to update one field. But suppose there were 100 
fields and each one had to be manually corrected anytime the 
file was transmitted. It happened to me— once— when I had to 
edit a manual someone else had written. Suffice it to say I'd 
rather not repeat the experience. 

Clearly, the broken link problem can be serious— even more 
so than the obsolete image problem. But there are solutions. 
HP's solution for both problems is New Wave, which has been 
around for three years. Microsoft's solution, called OLE, is a 
specification for integrating information from multiple applica- 
tions in a single compound document. I have a production copy 
of New Wave 3.0 installed on my machine, and I'm running it 
now; I have a beta-test copy of the OLE developer's kit and a 
handful of OLE applications installed as well. In fact, you can 
run both at once, and if you are a developer, you can make your 
programs support both. 

Microsoft's OLE 

OLE, which stands for Object Linking and Embedding, is 
Microsoft's open, industry-wide specification for compound 
documents. "Industry-wide" in this case means that Microsoft 
incorporated input from other major software developers- 
Lotus, Aldus, WordPerfect, and Micrografx. Linking refers to 
a process very much like DDE— in fact, it's a process currently 
built on DDE— that lets one document refer to another docu- 
ment that can also update it in real time. Embedding refers to a 
process very much like clipboard pasting— which isn 't actually 
clipboard pasting— that lets one application's document contain 
information created by a second application in the second appli- 
cation's native format. 

I mentioned earlier that DDE doesn't always work because of 
setup problems. OLE takes care of the setup problems by regis- 
tering all OLE-aware applications in a central database. It takes 
care of the DDE problem of one application needing to know the 
details of another by establishing a protocol of standard topics 
and procedures with which the applications talk to each other. 

An example is in order here. Suppose you're working on that 
same old sales memo— the one with the spreadsheet numbers. 
And suppose you want to have, in addition to the spreadsheet, 
an illustrative graphic and a chart based on the spreadsheet. 
And suppose that you've got a word processor that supports 

128 B YTE • MAY 1991 


Circle 275 on Inquiry Card. 

OLE, along with a spreadsheet, a chart maker, and a drawing 
program that all support OLE. You can set up the compound 
document with embedding, linking, or both. Since you're go- 
ing to update the numbers every month, you do the spreadsheet 
and chart with linking. Since the graphic won't change often, 
you do it with embedding. 

You write your memo. When you come to the spreadsheet, 
you insert a field that links you to the spreadsheet using OLE— 
as opposed to the DDE field you used to use. The OLE link is 
pretty much guaranteed to work, because all OLE applications 
know how to communicate with each other, and the informa- 
tion needed to start each OLE application is kept in a central 
database. (That isn't true of DDE applications.) 

So you see the spreadsheet figures in your document. Only 
this time, instead of seeing raw numbers that you have to format 
in Word, you see the spreadsheet as it would be displayed by 
Excel. This is because, as part of OLE compliance, Excel has 
provided a spreadsheet "viewer" for use by other applications. 

Now things start to get tricky. You want the chart to be based 
on the spreadsheet, and the chart in turn to appear in the word 
processing document. Can you do it? Sure enough: You can 
create the chart within the spreadsheet as an embedded docu- 
ment (Excel knows enough to update internally linked graphics 
from data) and then link the chart to the word processing docu- 
ment. When you change the numbers in the spreadsheet, the 
chart changes automatically, and both change automatically in 
the word processing document (see figure 3) . 

Finally, you create and incorporate the graphic. You can use 
an OLE-compliant version of Windows Paintbrush to create the 
graphic. How? Either from Paintbrush, or directly from the 
OLE-compliant version of Word. To do the latter, you'd Insert 
Embedded Object (or something like that) in Word and then 
select Paintbrush as your server. Paintbrush would automati- 
cally open up and tell you that you were editing an embedded 
object. You'd draw your graphic and close Paintbrush. Instead 
of going into a .BMP file, the drawing would go directly into 
the compound word processing document. 

Anytime you wanted to modify the drawing, you'd double- 
click on it within Word, and Paintbrush would come up with the 
drawing loaded. Pretty neat stuff, and not that far out: I have 
versions of Cardfile and Paint modified for OLE that work in 
just this way. (Obviously, the drawings go on cards rather than 
on a Word page, but the mechanism is the same.) 

One thing that isn't fixed by the current implementation of 
OLE is the broken link problem. If you create links and then 
move the documents, the links will break. If you embed rather 
than link, you don't have to worry about the connection break- 
ing, but you do have to worry about the copy becoming obso- 
lete. So you have to decide in each case whether to embed or 
link. Embedding gives you a copy of the document that won't 
get lost but might become obsolete; linking gives you a connec- 
tion to the document that won't become obsolete but might get 

OOFS: Files as Objects, Objects as Files 

OOFS is an acronym for Object-Oriented File System. In pro- 
gramming jargon, the combination of some data and a program 
that knows how to deal with the data is an object. This termi- 
nology is widely abused and very confusing (since object has a 
much more generic meaning in common usage), but it's what 
object means in this case. The combination of Paintbrush and a 
bit-mapped image can be an object, for instance, and it is an 
object that can be contained within the OLE specification. 

Objects don't necessarily have to be what you'd normally 
think of in terms of a written document. Given sound-recording 

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Word processing document 

















































As you can see from the 
slitiot and ttio figure . . . 

and more text . 
































Spreadslieet with dependent 
bar chart 

Central OLII datiibnso 

Figure 3: With OLE links, the format of the linked documents 
is automatically applied because there is a central database 
and a set of "reader" programs for OLE-compliant 
applications. Here, a word processor document contains links 
to a spreadsheet and its embedded graph. 


Move lile as part of disk reorganization 

OOFS sees brol<on link 
^ and "forwards Call"' : i 

Link to 



Could also update link 
when file moves 

Figure 4: The object-oriented file system will resolve the 
problem of broken links described in figure 2. Any file that is 
moved leaves a forwarding address. 

and playback capabilities, voice, music, and sounds can be ob- 
jects. Given an animation player, animations can be objects. 
Given a way to record and play back handwriting, handwritten 
notes can be objects. Given a videotape or CD-ROM controller, 
video segments can be objects. 

Back to the image object. All of Paintbrush is not carried 
around inside a Word document. The "object" contained in 
this case can either be an embedded object (in which case the 
data is actually inside the Word document) along with a flag 
that says what program knows how to edit the data, or it can be a 
linked object, in which case what is inside the Word document 
is the name of the linked document along with the flag for the 
program to use to edit the data. 

Back to the subject of an "object-oriented file system. " What 
this term seems to promise— and no more than promise, as 
Microsoft is loath to tell more— is a file system that can track 
objects and is oriented to, and knows about, the sorts of com- 
pound documents and linkages I've been talking about. 

132 BYTE • MAY 1991 

You can hope, at least, that the object-oriented file system 
would be able to remember that your spreadsheet is linked to 
your word processing document. You can also hope that, when 
you mail your document electronically across a network to a 
colleague, the file system recognizes and automatically ships 
all the linked documents along with the container document, or 
it maintains the linkages across the network. You can also hope 
that, when you have a major housecleaning and reorganize your 
hard disk, the file system will know that the spreadsheet previ- 
ously in E:\EXCEL\SHEET.XLS is now at G:\EX- 
CEL_DATA\SHEET.XLS. Think of the file system as a tele- 
phone exchange; you want the file system to do the equivalent of 
forwarding your calls when you change offices (see figure 4). 

Old New Wave 

Unlike OLE, HP's New Wave is well beyond the planning and 
ilcvelopment stage. It has been running on HP Vectras (and 
otlier similar machines) for several years now. It is also about 
to ship on HP-UX workstations. 

New Wave is implemented as a layer on top of Windows. The 
New Wave Office window is a "root" object that owns all New 
Wave tools and objects. Tools are resources (e.g., printers), 
represented on the desktop as three-dimensional icons. Objects 
are data (e.g., files) of specific types (e.g., applications), 
which may in turn contain other objects. 

People familiar with the Macintosh or the old Xerox Star will 
find New Wave easy to work with— much more so than Win- 
dows itself. You throw things away by dragging them to the 
Irashcan (later, you can root through the trashcan or empty it). 
You put files in folders by dragging them to the folder icon. You 
put folders in the file cabinet by dragging them to the cabinet 
icon. You print a file by dragging it to the printer icon. You 
open a folder, file, or any object by double-clicking on its icon. 

New Wave also has helpful agents, which are scripts for auto- 
mating activities. (The agent icon wears FBI-ish sunglasses, a 
little pun.) New Wave also has bridges, its own version of the 
. I'lF file that contains the information on how to run both DOS 
and Windows applications. (Bridges are much more complex 
and important than .PIE files.) And New Wave has object con- 
tainment links (described below). 

While OLE requires you to choose between embedding and 
linking at each step of producing a compound document, New 
Wave links between parent and child objects with a more inte- 
grated strategy: object containment links. These are internal 
links to external files, the information maintained in a data- 
base. As long as you use New Wave (rather than DOS or Win- 
dows) to work with New Wave documents, your links are un- 
breakable, even when you send documents across a network. 

New Wave's intelligent database, the Object Management 
Facility (OMF), maintains linkages using a second name 
space, a second file-system directory that maintains its own list 
of New Wave-style filenames and the DOS paths to them. (You 
can convert documents to and from DOS files.) In the far fu- 
ture (with Windows 4.0 and DOS 6.0), Microsoft file systems 
will maintain linkages in a single name space. Microsoft is not 
likely to ship such an object-oriented file system before 1992, 
and in any case, it will require the Installable File System capa- 
bility scheduled for inclusion in DOS 6.0. 

New Wave is reliable with the current DOS file system, and it 
is fully hierarchical. New Wave objects can be moved into fold- 
ers, and folders can be moved into the file cabinet. Objects can 
be contained in other objects, and they can be shared. You can 
use a single TIFF image in multiple New Wave Write docu- 
ments and also have the image available from the New Wave 
Office desktop as an icon. 


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If there is a problem with New Wave, it is that relatively few 
applications are available that fully support it. Why is this the 
case? For one thing, New Wave was not very practical for end 
users before Windows 3.0 was introduced. For another. New 
Wave development has been difficult: Most developers had dif- 
ficulty getting their applications working as stand-alone appli- 
cations under Windows, a few hardy souls implemented DDE 
and Clipboard transfers, and only the bravest went on to sup- 
port New Wave. Developing a program that is part of a larger 
system is very different from developing a program that is a 
"thing unto itself," alone in its own universe. 

HP is currently working hard to make New Wave support 
easier for developers to implement. The company is enhancing 
New Wave's bridge capability to stay ahead of OLE, but it is 
hedging its investment by redesigning the New Wave develop- 
er's kit so that applications supporting OLE will need very few 
changes to also support New Wave. 

OLE Implementation 

As it is currently designed for Windows and Presentation Man- 
ager, OLE manages compound documents using the Clipboard 
and DDE. Copy commands offer multiple formats to the Clip- 
board in order of their fidelity (the most preferable ones first). 
Applications that want to use the Clipboard should specify a 
format as well as content. An application wanting to paste from 
the Clipboard should take the first object with an appropriate 
format. (You wouldn't, for instance, paste a picture where text 
was expected.) Link is one of the possible formats on the Clip- 
board; it is offered only if the copying application can act as a 
DDE server. 

Along with standard, descriptive formats like Rich Text File 
and BIFF, applications can use native formats for private data, 
and OwnerLink formats for embedded objects. Native and 
OwnerLink data can be handled by object-specific libraries; 
the "viewer DLL" concept helps to make OLE more object- 
oriented and extensible than ordinary DDE. 

Suppose you are writing an OLE-compliant application that 
supports compound documents. You have in the middle of your 
private data format a "foreign" format— the embedded object. 
Somehow you have to connect this unknown format with a 
server that knows about this object. 

The information on what server handles what formats goes in 
a central registration database. In the beta-test version of OLE, 
the registration database is just a few lines in WIN. INI. The 
final implementation, however, will have a real database to 

handle registrations, presum- 
ably to efficiently look up the 
hundreds— or thousands— of 
OLE servers that will become 


HP New Wave ISV 
Support Group 
3410 Central Expy. 
Santa Clara, CA 95051 
(408) 773-7799 
Circle 1081 on Inquiry Card. 

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One Microsoft Way 

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Circle lOSOonlnquiryCard. 

Clients and Servers 
An application that wants to 
receive or contain data from 
another application is called a 
client or a container. An ap- 
plication that can provide the 
data or edit an embedded ob- 
ject format is called a server. 
This terminology isn't much 
changed from that of DDE cli- 
ents and DDE servers. But a 
few things have been added to 
make DDE work better; one 
of these is protocols. 

For instance, the standard OLE protocol is called StdFile- 
Edltlng. If a client has an embedded object that the user has 
double-clicked, the container sees that MyApp is the server for 
this object. Then the container checks that MyApp can support 
StdFlleEdlting with an OLE library call: 

option, of Format) ==ECD_OK) { 
< actually do the edltlng> 

As you can see from the above code, OLE library calls begin 
with the prefix Ecd and return a status defined with the prefix 
ECD_. ECD stands for Extensible Compound Document, 
which was one of the many early names for OLE. 

The OLE interface makes heavy use of a table of function 
pointers, called a vtbl, and a pointer to this table, called a 
vptr. The return codes from all the OLE functions are an enu- 
merated type (ECDSTATUS) with values ECD_OK, ECD 
_ERROR_MEMORY, and so on. A general object structure, 
struct _ECDOBJECT, is provided for internal use by the librar- 
ies; client applications work with a long pointer to the object 
rather than the object itself. 

Client applications provide a callback function so that serv- 
ers can notify them of events that need action: for instance, no- 
tification that the object has changed and must be redrawn. Cli- 
ents also provide streams that the library can use for loading 
and saving objects. OLE provides three different rendering op- 
tions: The client can do all the drawing of objects, it can let the 
library manage the data, or it can let the library manage both 
the drawing and the data. 

The OLE library includes functions for managing the Clip- 
board, managing links, doing file I/O, creating and manipulat- 
ing objects, and rendering objects. Handlers specific to each 
object implement the details of many of these functions; the 
appropriate handler is called by the OLE library through a 
function table pointer (the vptr mentioned above). 

Most of the library functionality is embodied in object meth- 
ods. An object method has the same arguments as the corre- 
sponding application programming interface function; a han- 
dler may override any of the method functions. For instance, 
the API function 


EcdDraw ( IpOb j ect , hDC , IpBounds , hFormatDC ) 

has a corresponding method: 


( IpOb j ect , hDC , IpBounds , hFormatDC ) 

whose pointer is kept in a vtbl. 

An OLE server has only one API: EcdReglsterServer. For 
the most part, a server is a supplier of methods. The client ap- 
plication calls the OLE library with requests, and the OLE li- 
brary in turn invokes methods supplied by the server. 

In the current implementation of OLE, links are done with 
DDE. Since all the client application does is call the OLE client 
API, and all the server application does is execute methods 
called by the OLE server library, the client-server implementa- 
tion details don't matter. If a better communication method 
than DDE comes along in the future and the OLE dynamic link 
libraries change, it shouldn't matter at all to applications using 
the libraries. 

134 BYTE- MAY 1991 


New Wave Implementation 

In contrast to OLE's reliance on DDE, New Wave relies on the 
OMF for managing application-data binding, information 
links, and object integration. The object hierarchy descends 
from the New Wave Office desktop through office tools (e.g. , a 
file cabinet), container objects (e.g., a file folder), compound 
objects (e.g., a compound New Wave Write document), and 
simple objects (e.g. , a piece of text, a chart, or an image). 

The OMF keeps track of abject relationships through infor- 
mation links. Each link has a parent (the container, correspond- 
ing to an OLE client) and a child (the contained object). Infor- 
mation links are managed entirely within the OMF; there is no 
need for DDE in New Wave, nor is there any need to physically 
copy or embed data, since the OMF information link is quite 
robust. An information link is both dynamic (like OLE linking) 
and persistent (like OLE embedding). 

In addition to simple containment links, OMF supports 
views, which are links combined with additional information 
that the child will pass to the parent on request or when the data 
is updated. Visual views allow the child's application to display 
information in the parent's window. Data views pass the under- 
lying data from child to parent, after which the parent is re- 
sponsible for displaying the data. 

New Wave applications communicate with other New Wave 
applications. New Wave system services, Microsoft Windows, 
and the OMF via messages. Normally in Windows, messages 
are passed only to active programs. OMF enhances the Win- 
dows message-passing facility by automatically launching inac- 
tive programs when they are the recipient of a message. Effec- 
tively, a New Wave program can send a message to any object 
and be sure that the message will arrive whether or not the ob- 
ject's associated code is currently loaded. 

New Wave messages are quite general; individual objects 
need to supply methods to implement any appropriate mes- 
sages. A New Wave object supports each message for which it 
has a method. Messages are sent among applications via the 
OMF's interobject message facility; interobject messages are 
addressed using the sender's reference name for the recipient, 
the message type, and message parameters. The OMF returns 
the status to the sender after the message has been delivered and 
the appropriate action taken. 

In addition to the OMF, New Wave has APIs for agents (a 
systemwide task-automation facility) and CBT (computer- 
based training), as well as for context-sensitive help. Agent 
Tasks in particular offer a high level of flexibility and automa- 
tion to the end user. 

There is no question that, because of Microsoft's influence 
on PC users, OLE will achieve acceptance. But HP's New 
Wave is tried and true and will always offer users at least one 
more feature than OLE. With HP finally delivering New Wave 
for Motif, the company is offering its design to the largest 
growing base of new systems as well. Both OLE and New Wave 
are winners. 

New Wave adds a lot of useful functionality to Windows, at 
the expense of some extra overhead. OLE will add some of the 
same features as New Wave, primarily compound documents. 
But even if OLE is widely implemented, New Wave will offer 
extra features: object management, agent scripts, and so on. 
The ideal strategy for developers wishing to play in the new 
"information at your fingertips" arena is to write applications 
to fully support both OLE and New Wave. ■ 

Martin Heller, a contributing editor for BYTE, is a software de- 
veloper. He is currently writing an advanced Windows pro- 
gramming book. You can reach him on BIX as "mheller. " 

Make Your Best Work 
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you create objects on-screen. Once your design is finished, 
you can produce a three-dimensional physical model of the 
object (up to a cubic foot in size), much the same as you use a 
laser printer with desktop publishing software to create a 
facsimile of a printed page. 

All you have to do is transmit the CAD data in a special 
format to a rapid automated prototyping or toolless model- 
making machine (the field is so new that the terminology is 
still not settled). Using one of several processes, this ma- 
chine will "grow" your model from raw material, un- 
touched by human hands. 

So far, the new technology is used mostly for making in- 
dustrial design models (or prototypes) out of plastic or in- 
vestment casting wax (i.e. , wax that is melted away to create 
a mold). Such models are integral to the industrial design 
process, either for "form, fit, and function" testing or just 
for aesthetic visualization. 

Making a complex model by hand or by numerical-con- 
trol (NC) milling machines can take weeks and may have to 
be redone for each stage of the design process. Rapid auto- 
mated prototyping, however, allows even the most complex 
prototypes to be made overnight— an advantage so compel- 
ling that this process is already being widely used in the 
automotive, aerospace, and medical fields. Experts agree 
that anyone in the design field is likely to encounter this 
technology in the next few years. 

That also means that many industrial design organiza- 
tions will have to update their methods, since 2-D CAD is 
not adequate for the process of rapid automated prototyping. 
Even 3-D wireframes are usually not adequate. Generally, 
you need 3-D surface models, and solid-object models are 
still better, if only because you don't have to worry about 
whether the surfaces of the models have gaps in the corners. 
(Solid-object models contain information about what's in- 

side an object, rather than just what appears on the surface 
of the object.) 

From Screen to Reality 

There are several approaches to toolless model-making, but 
generally, the process starts with a workstation CAD design 
that is output to a file using a special format. This format, 
called STL (for stereo-lithography, a technology used to 
produce models), is supported by over 40 CAD packages. 

Using an approach similar to one that many CAD pack- 
ages use to draw surfaces of on-screen images, an STL file 
defines the surface of an object as a set of interfacing trian- 
gles. Each triangle is defined with three vertices and a nor- 
mal, which identifies which side faces out and which faces 
in. The STL file can use any unit of measure as long as there 
are no zero or negative coordinates. 

The file is then fed to the toolless model-making ma- 
chine, which generally has a powerful microcomputer for 
its controller. The controller uses special software to 
"slice" the object described by the STL file into cross sec- 
tions, or layers. The machine then uses one of several tech- 
niques to deposit a 

material in a container 
in a precisely con- 
trolled manner, build- 
ing the defined object 
one layer at a time (see 
the figure). 

If cross sections of 
an object are taken at 
random points in the 
process, they may 
produce unconnected 
"islands." Therefore, 
some techniques will 
require that you add 
thin webbing to a de- 
sign to keep the object 

Now you can create small 
3-D models from a personal 
computer, just as you can 
use a printer to create 2-D 
images— but the units aren't 
cheap, and it's best to have a 
CAD system that uses solid- 
object modeling. 

MAY 1991 • BYTE 137 


together during construction. You peel off the webbing later in 
the process. 

Aside from the size restriction and the limited range of mate- 
rials that can (so far) be used, the main limitation of toolless 
model-making is the tolerances that can be achieved. A model 
that will be used for a production mold will typically require 
tolerances of !/,ooo inch or better. Tolerances claimed for tool- 
less model-making machines, meanwhile, average about J^oo 
inch. Skilled operators, however, have been known to produce 
small models that could go straight into production. 

Stereo-Lithography: Printing in 3-D 

The leading technology in the field of rapid automated proto- 
typing is stereo-lithography. This process was pioneered in 
1987 by 3D Systems (Valencia, CA)— the company that created 
the STL file format. 

In stereo-lithography, an ultraviolet laser scans the first layer 
of a sliced object onto the surface of a vat of a special resin. The 
resin polymerizes (solidifies) when it is hit by the ultraviolet 
light. The system then lowers the model slightly into the tank 
and scans the next layer. This process continues, adding layer 


CAD design 


Download as STL file; 
perform "slicing" 


■/'A Elevator 




Cure model 

Finished model 


Rapid automated prototyping, a technology that is now available on microcomputers and workstations, lets you build prototypes 
from solid-model CAD drawings— just as you use a printer to create 2-D printouts of screen images. 

138 BYTE • MAY 1991 



We DesignCAD 3D version 3. 1 : A Basic-Iibe programming language 
entitled BasicCAD. We added new commands. We added hardware support for dozens 
and dozens of new devices We made hundreds of overall internal enhancements! 

We improved the manuals, the packaging and the speed. 
How much extra did we charge? Nada. Nothing. Zip. No extra charge at all. • 
Oh, sure...our accountant said we could increase the price. said there was no legal 
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So, why didn't we raise the price for DesignCAD 3D version 3.1? the Great American Tradition we said 
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DesignCAD 3D version 3. 1 sells for $399. 
Does this include everything? Yes. We include everything! The programming language the 
hardware device drivers (more than 450), built-in shading capability, hidden line removal capability 
solid-object modeling capability, translators to-and-from other file formats, are all included' 

How cah you afford to sell a program like this at such a low price? 
This is our most often asbed question. We have a simple answer. Volume. We sell thousands 
of these programs each month! If we were to charge thousands of dollars per copy ' 
(lifee our competitors) we would restrict our sales to the professional trades only 
By lowering our price we sell to professional architects and engineers as well as 
the ordinary individiial!. Many ordinary individuals purchase DesignCAD 3D 
for personal projects.' Many people purchase DesignCAD 3D arid perform CAD 
Drafting at nights and on weefeends as a second job! 

People design "dream homes" and "widgets". 
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Photo 1 : Selective laser sintering, a process developed by 
DTM, starts with a surface model CAD design (a). A laser 
then "welds " together particles of wax or plastic (b) to create a 
single cross section of the model. The system builds layer upon 
layer to create a model, which is used to make the finished 
object— in this case, a gear (c). 

upon layer, until the model is finished. You must add webbing 
to your design to keep parts from floating away, and the object 
has to be cured after the modeling is finished. 3D's machines 
range in price from $95,000 to $385,000 and use 386 com- 
puters as system controllers. 

Another stereo-lithography machine uses a slightly different 
technique: Instead of lowering a model into a vat, it raises the 
resin level. This $195,000 system from Quadrax Laser Tech- 
nologies (Portsmouth, RI) uses a more powerful visible-light 


, h rototyping service bureaus 
still receive design files in every 
conceivable format, including 
on the backs of envelopes. 

laser that partially cures each layer as it goes along. The system 
also controls the diameter of the laser beam, making it thinner 
for drawing a perimeter and thicker for filling an interior. The 
Quadrax unit is controlled by an i486 CPU and accepts STL 
input as well as input directly from I-DEAS, a solid-object 
modeling CAD software system from Structural Dynamics Re- 
search Corp. (SDRC) in Cincinnati, Ohio. 

Another, more elaborate version of stereo-lithography is 
available from Cubital (Herzlia, Israel). The company's 
$490,000 Solider 5600 makes models with the "solid base" 
curing process. This process exposes each layer of polymer res- 
in to powerful but conventional ultraviolet light through a pho- 
tomask. The system makes a new mask for each layer using 
electrostatic toner. The ultraviolet light is powerful enough to 
cure each layer of polymer inmiediately. After curing, the sys- 
tem removes the unpolymerized resin and replaces it with mol- 
ten wax. It cools the new polymer-wax layer and mills it to the 
correct thickness. Then the next layer of polymer is deposited, 
and that new layer is treated the same as the one before. When 
the model is finished, the wax is washed or melted away. 

Despite the number of steps in this process, the Cubital ma- 
chine can deposit 60 to 100 layers per hour, each with an aver- 
age thickness of 0.15 millimeter. The unit is controlled by a 
VAXstation 3100 over an Ethernet connection. Cubital accepts 
STL, SDRC, and other CAD formats but converts them to its 
proprietary Cubital Facet Language format. Because the wax 
supports any floating pieces until they are attached, designs do 
not need webbing. 

Sintering and Plotting 

An entirely different approach, called selective laser sintering, 
comes from DTM (for desktop manufacturing) of Austin, 
Texas. This technology involves depositing a layer of fine pow- 
der (usually investment casting wax or plastic) in a container 
and heating it nearly to the powder's melting point. A powerful 
laser then sinters the powder— welds the particles together 
without melting them— to produce a cross section of the desired 
object. Another layer of powder is then deposited, and the next 
cross section is produced (see photo 1). This is followed by 

140 B YTE • MAY 1991 


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Photo 2: The 3D Modeler from Stratasys deposits a filament of 
melted plastic — much as a pen plotter creates a 2-D drawing — 
of objects as simple as the head of a golf club (top, model 
on left, finished club on right) or as complex as a turbo fan 

more layers until the object is complete. 

Since the unused powder supports overhangs, the system 
needs no webbing. But the major attraction of the process is that 
it could conceivably be used with metal as well as plastic and 
wax, allowing you to make working parts on demand. That, 
however, appears to be several years away. 

The DTM unit is controlled by a 386 microcomputer running 
Unix, and it accepts input in the STL format. DTM hopes to be 
selling end-user machines next year. 

Meanwhile, a start-up company has entered the field— with a 
technology that has attracted immediate attention because of its 
comparatively low price and because it does not use exotic 
chemicals or heat. The 3D Modeler from Stratasys (Minneapo- 
lis, MN) is basically a pen plotter that deposits a filament of 
melted plastic or investment casting wax instead of ink (see 
photo 2). The device moves at 15 inches per second, building a 
model of up to 1 cubic foot through successive laminations. 

The Stratasys Unix-based slicing software is a subset of the 
CAM system marketed by CAMAX Systems of Minneapolis 
and can accept standard NC codes, IGES files, and STL files. 
Due to the way the unit deposits material, you don't need a sur- 
face model; 3-D wire-frame CAD models will suffice. The 3D 
Modeler does, however, require webbing for unsupported sub- 

Stratasys is offering its 3D Modeler with a base price of 
$130,000. The unit's software can run on Sun Microsystems, 
Silicon Graphics, Hewlett-Packard, or IBM RISC System/6000 
workstations, or it can be purchased with its own Silicon 
Graphics Iris workstation for $178,000. 

Prototyping the Future 

In the days to come, vendors of rapid automated prototyping 
equipment will be shooting for better tolerances, lower prices, 
and a larger market. Another likely major development in the 
field is an enhancement or replacement of the current STL file 
format. That's because STL is too limited for the things manu- 
facturers would like to do. 

"The approximations it uses keeps us from hitting the toler- 
ances we are working toward," says Ray Hill, general manager 
at Quadrax. Hill notes that curves are often hard to fit with tri- 
angles. Also, for the purpose of adding "offsets" to various 
curves (to compensate for expected shrinkage during curing), 
it would be nice if the file description could divide the object 
into its geometric components. "But with STL, a cross section 
of an object looks like one entity— a cross section of a box is 
seen as one line instead of four." Quadrax is working on a re- 
placement for STL but hasn't released details. 

Others feel that STL, while not perfect, is better than noth- 
ing. Kent Nutt of DTM says, "I agree that STL is not adequate, 
but it's a good first step, and we need an industry standard right 
now. " Nutt noted that most CAD packages that support STL let 
you set the resolution, allowing you to use more and smaller 
triangles for complex surfaces. Of course, this takes more disk 
space and processing time. 

Another change that will need to occur is among users, who 
do as much as three-fourths of all design work with 2-D CAD 
systems. (Operators of rapid prototyping service bureaus report 
that they still receive design files in every conceivable format, 
including on the backs of envelopes.) 

Al Cassista, principal engineer at DEC in Maynard, Massa- 
chusetts, says, "Rapid prototyping is only a small part of the 
things possible because of solid-object modeling CAD. Thanks 
to the volumetric information it gives you, you can do tolerance 
analysis, play what-if games for manufacturing, or try different 
materials before making the part. " 

Cassista admits that DEC was markedly unsuccessful in pro- 
moting solid-object modeling until they were able to demon- 
strate these other types of analyses. Once they did, they saw a 
migration to solid-object modeling. 

Today, you can actually have a 3-D prototype of your CAD 
creation on the table the day after you design it, while someone 
without a rapid automated prototyping system may work for 
months to get their design off paper. That's why, according to 
Structural Dynamics' Chuck Kuess, "we see a tremendous 
need among our customers for rapid prototyping, and we have 
to believe that the customers of other CAD vendors are similar 
to ours. It's a small field today, but we think it will become big. 
It will be something you encounter more and more often in the 
design field." ■ 

Lament Wood is a freelance writer specializing in high technol- 
ogy. He can be reached on BIX as "Iwood. " 

142 BYTE • MAY 1991 

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DJL A § § I § 

ata Acquisition: 

PCs on the Bench 

Data acquisition tools have migrated from specialized test equipment 
to general-purpose personal computers 



easuring and analyzing real-world conditions has 
always been a major component of research, de- 
sign, testing, and manufacturing. Whether you are 
M.1 M. measuring voltage, temperature, pressure, or 
other physical phenomena, data acquisition is the process of 
converting sensor or transducer signals into data that can be 
processed and analyzed on a computer (see figure 1). 

While data acquisition can be broadly defined as includ- 
ing sound and image processing, these categories of data ac- 
quisition have become separate technologies in their own 
right and were covered in detail in the In Depth section of 
the December 1989 BYTE. Here, I'll focus primarily on 
data acquisition using personal computers and worksta- 
tions—that is, data acquisition in the laboratory 
as it applies to physical phenomena other than 
sound and images. 

Before the advent of the personal computer, 
data acquisition was primarily the domain of ex- 
pensive and specialized test equipment, as well ■ 
as minicomputers and mainframes. But the per- 
sonal computer has changed all that. While 
early 8-bit personal computers had limited data 
acquisition capabilities, today's 16-bit and 32- 
bit machines offer the power and flexibility to 
handle the great majority of data acquisition 
tasks. Chart recorders and oscilloscopes are 
giving way to graphical displays on personal 
computers connected directly to the physical ex- 
periment or environment, displaying the physi- 
cal data in real time. ■ , , ' 

The photo shows a real-time measurement 
system using a Mac IIx running National Instru- 
ments' Lab View software. The system monitors 
and controls furnace temperatures aboard a 
NASA KC-135 aircraft to test near-zero-gravity 
high-temperature superconductor materials. A 
video image of the material inside the furnace is 
displayed, as are the voltage being applied to the 

furnace, the temperature of the specimen, and the gravity 
level during the experiment. 

Data acquisition boards are available for all types of per- 
sonal computers and workstations. Dozens of manufac- 
turers make boards for all major bus architectures, includ- 
ing the XT and AT, Micro Channel, NuBus (Macintosh), 
Multibus, VME, and SBus. 

Boards vary greatly in performance and capability; they 
range from simple 8-bit boards for XTs to 32-bit boards with 
coprocessors or digital signal processors (DSPs) and digital 
I/O capabilities. You can obtain data acquisition boards that 
not only acquire data but also control equipment depending 
on the data readings. External data acquisition instruments 


MAY 1991 • BYTE 145 




Data acquisition 


External D/A unit 

with built-in 
signal conditioner 

Figure 1 : Data acquisition involves measuring some physical 
phenomena, such as temperature, pressure, or voltage (left), 
using sensors or transducers. The captured signals must then 
be conditioned, either by a separate unit (top) or by one built 
into a stand-alone data acquisition unit (bottom). The signal is 
then converted to digital form, and the data is manipulated 
and displayed on a computer equipped with data acquisition 

fill' hill jllifi.tli- (niitliil*. Illillil s Iiifils 

I IH IIi'll I- t i'iHII'l 

She??! rioat .-done Fiunace VidHO 

A Mac IIx running National Instruments' LabView monitors 
and controls furnace temperatures aboard a NASA KC-135 
aircraft used to test near-zero-gravity high-temperature 
superconductor materials. (Courtesy of National Instruments) 

that connect to the personal computer or workstation are also 

The appropriate data acquisition system depends on the de- 
sired type of application. For a simple temperature-measure- 
ment application, you can make do with an 8-bit XT board, 
while for a high-frequency vibration analysis, you need a high- 
performance 32-bit system. 

Some applications require an external data acquisition in- 
strument that connects to the host computer instead of an inter- 
nal plug-in board. I'll discuss performance requirements and 
the pros and cons of internal versus external data acquisition 
systems in more detail later. 

There are many methods of transmitting information from a 
physical system; for example, a simple electromechanical relay 

can indicate an open or closed circuit. But, regardless of the 
application, a data acquisition process is composed of four 
basic components: 

» measurement of the physical conditions using sensors or 

• conditioning the signal (e.g., amplification, linearization, 
and buffering) 

• A/D conversion of the signal 

• interface to the computer (usually includes both hardware 
and software) 

Sensors and Transducers 

Although there is a wide variety of sensors on the market, most 
fall into a few major categories. Probably the oldest and one of 
the most common types of sensors is the thermocouple. A ther- 
mocouple is a junction of two dissimilar metals that produces a 
voltage dependent on temperature. 

In a thermocouple, the relationship between output voltage 
and temperature is nonlinear and is dependent on the cold-junc- 
tion temperature of the thermocouple. Cold-junction tempera- 
ture is a baseline temperature from which all measurements 
must be taken. Therefore, thermocouple manufacturers pro- 
vide specifications for linearizing their output. Many data ac- 
quisition systems are set up to automatically perform the linear- 
ization for particular thermocouple types. Standard industry 
thermocouples (e.g. , types J, K, and T) are available that oper- 
ate within various temperature ranges. 

Variable resistance sensors include strain gauges, resistance 
temperature detectors, and voltage, current, or frequency de- 
tectors. As their name suggests, variable resistance sensors 
measure a specific physical quantity (e.g. , temperature or pres- 
sure) by changing their resistance. For example, you can use 
strain gauges to measure pressure, force, or displacement— 
they measure the resistance (or output voltage) as a function of 
the applied load. The strain gauge is calibrated so that a partic- 
ular voltage reading corresponds to a particular displacement. 
Once the displacement is known, other quantities, such as force 
or pressure, can be calculated. 

Signal Conditioning and A/D Conversion 

Transducers or sensors generate an electrical signal that usu- 
ally requires some form of conditioning before it can be pro- 
cessed by the A/D converter and other processing components 
of the data acquisition hardware. The most frequent type of 
conditioning involves the amplification of the signal (which 
is usually accomplished by mearfs of a gain amplifier), so that 
the voltage of the signal is within the voltage sensitivity range of 
the ADC. 

For example, an ADC may have a sensitivity range of 2.44 
millivolts; that would indicate that the ADC can detect a voltage 
change of 2.44 mV. However, the signal from the transducer 
may transmit a voltage change of only 0.025 mV. In that case, 
the programmable gain amplifier in the data acquisition system 
would be set to 100 to amplify the signal enough for the ADC to 
detect it. 

As I mentioned earlier, conditioning can involve the linear- 
ization of the signal as well as isolation, buffering, or attenua- 
tion. For example, signals from the transducer could change 
more rapidly than the ADC can process them. In this case, a 
sample/hold (S/H) circuit would be employed to buffer the sig- 
nal and hold it to a constant value until the A/D conversion is 

The ADC's job is to take the analog output from the signal 
conditioner and transform it into binary code that the computer 

146 BYTE • MAY 1991 


can process. Signal conditioning is a process that is tightly cou- 
pled with the ADC, which is the heart of the data acquisition 
system. In other words, conditioning components such as the 
gain amplifier and the S/H circuit are designed to work with a 
specific ADC. 

The ADC's the Key 

The ADC specifications largely determine the performance 
and accuracy of the data acquisition system. These features in- 
clude the resolution (number of bits), sampling rate (speed), ac- 
curacy, input and dynamic range, linearity, and noise rejection 
capability. Obviously, these factors determine the cost of the 
ADC. Covering all these factors in detail is beyond the scope of 
this article, but I'll take a brief look at resolution, sampling 
rates, and noise rejection. 

The resolution is the number of bits (usually 8, 12, or 16) 
used to represent the analog signal. It determines the voltage 
sensitivity, also called the least significant bit, or the code 
width of the ADC. 

You can determine the voltage sensitivity by dividing the 
voltage range by the total binary range (represented by the num- 
ber of bits). An 8-bit resolution represents a range of 256 (2'), 
while a 16-bit converter has a binary range of 65,536. If, for 
example, a converter's voltage range is to 10 volts, an 8-bit 
converter would have a sensitivity of 10 divided by 256, or 
0.0391 V (39. 1 mV). A 12-bit converter would have a sensitiv- 
ity of 2.44 mV, while a 16-bit converter would have a sensitiv- 
ity of 0.2 mV. 

Coupled with a gain amplifier, the gain factor increases the 
sensitivity proportionally. For example, a gain of 100 would 
allow the 12-bit converter to pick up a signal of 0.0244 mV. 
Clearly, the type of signal that is being processed dictates the 
required sensitivity. You can handle most data acquisition tasks 
with either 8-bit or 12-bit converters and appropriate gain 

The sampling rate, also called the throughput rate, deter- 
mines how frequently the ADC can convert signals. The great- 
er the sampling rate, the more accurately an analog signal can 
be represented. The Nyquist Sampling Theorem states that the 
sampling rate must be more than twice the rate of the maximum 
frequency of the signal being acquired. For example, audio sig- 
nals can have frequencies as high as 20 kHz, requiring a sam- 
pling rate of at least 40 kHz. However, most laboratory applica- 
tions require a sampling rate of under 25 kHz. The sampling 
rate is usually given for one channel; using multiple channels 
reduces the sampling rate proportionally. For example, a 20- 
kHz data acquisition board with two channels yields a sampling 
rate of 10 kHz per channel. 

Noise rejection is another important factor in data acquisi- 
tion applications. If the noise level in the system approaches the 
minimum voltage sensitivity of the ADC, the converter cannot 

distinguish between 
noise signals and the 
actual signals that are 
being acquired. This 
condition results in 
errors and is more of a 
problem for plug-in 
data acquisition units 
than for external sys- 
tems. The proximity of 
other boards, such as 
graphics and modem 
cards, can generate 
noise interference. 


If you need to analyze or ex- 
periment with quantitative 
conditions, personal compu- 
ter-based data acquisition 
boards may be for you. 

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Circle 1 59 on Inquiry Card 
(RESELLERS: 160). 

MAY 1991 -BYTE i47 



ChOO— ^ 

Chi a 




Digital trigger o 
External clock i > 




MUX iirui 

Register selects 


and select 

Bus data 



(four banks 
of 256K) 


Data buffers 


Figure 2: The block diagram of a 12-bit data acquisition board for IBM PC compatibles. This is a plug-in board with four 
measurement input channels and a sampling rate ofl million samples per second. (Courtesy ofKeithley Metrabyte) 

Putting It All Together 

Acquiring the signal, conditioning it, and converting it from 
analog to digital are functions common to all data acquisition 
systems. Beyond these features, data acquisition systems vary 

As you have already seen, the resolution, sampling rate, and 
number of channels can vary. In addition, some systems include 
additional circuitry such as counter/timers and digital and ana- 
log output functions, as well as on-board DSPs that provide 
floating-point operations independent of the host computer sys- 
tem. These features add flexibility and power to the data acqui- 
sition system. 

Personal computer- and workstation-based data acquisition 
systems can be either internal add-in or plug-in boards. They 
can also be external front ends — such as those provided by John 
Fluke Manufacturing (Everett, WA). Among the manufac- 
turers of personal computer-based internal boards are Contec 
Microelectronics (San Jose, CA) and Data Translation (Marl- 
borough, MA). External front-end data acquisition systems are 
stand-alone devices connected to the personal computer via the 
RS-232 serial line. They can also be connected via a special 

interface called the General Purpose Interface Bus (GPIB) or 
IEEE 488 bus (a major supplier of this device is lOtech, Cleve- 
land, OH). 

The IEEE 488 or GPIB has become the standard interface for 
data acquisition systems. This parallel interface provides a 
transfer rate of 1 megabyte per second and can support up to 15 
devices simultaneously. 

The RS-232 interface is a serial interface with a maximum 
transfer rate of 19,200 bps, and it can support only one device 
per port. However, it has the advantage of being built into virtu- 
ally all personal computers and workstations, while an IEEE 
488 board must be purchased separately. 

Front-end systems usually have built-in signal conditioning 
and can support a large number of measurement channels. In 
addition, they have better isolation and noise rejection charac- 
teristics than internal plug-in boards. As a result, they can be 
used in higher-frequency applications. Another advantage to 
external devices is that you can access them remotely from the 
host computer; with plug-in boards, you must locate the host 
computer in the immediate vicinity of the physical experiment 
or test. 

148 BYTE • MAY 1991 

Circle 31 9 on Inquiry Card (RiSELLERS: 320). 


While not as versatile as external front ends, internal plug-in 
boards are suitable for many applications. In general, plug-in 
data acquisition boards cost less than external devices, since 
they don't require separate power supplies and cabinets and 
support fewer channels and instrumentation. Figure 2 shows 
the block diagram of a data acquisition board for IBM PC com- 
patibles with 12-bit resolution, four measurement channels, 
and 1 million samples per second. 

Most internal data acquisition boards require separate sig- 
nal-conditioning modules. Although some boards have built-in 
signal-conditioning modules for particular sensors or transduc- 
ers, most users select separate signal-conditioning modules, 
depending on the application, to allow greater flexibility. 

If you decide to use an internal data acquisition board for a 
specific application, make sure you carefully weigh the pros 
and cons, since such boards do have limitations. The physical 
size of the board's connection interface limits the number of 
measurement channels. In addition, when you run high-fre- 
quency applications, there may be crossover noise from other 
boards in the system. 

Internal plug-in data acquisition boards are ideal for a spe- 
cific application that is not expected to change over time and for 
which the internal board produces reliable and accurate results. 
External devices may be a better choice if you frequently 
change the measurement application— a situation that requires 
continual reconfiguration of the transducers and signal-condi- 
tioning modules. 

The Software 

The final component of the data acquisition system is the soft- 
ware. Traditionally, many engineers and scientists have written 
their own programs, in a high-level language such as BASIC or 
C, to interface with the test equipment. The IEEE 488 interface 
supports an ASCII command set, and there are operating-sys- 
tem commands for the RS-232 port that you can use to set up a 
software interface. 

Nevertheless, the trend today is toward commercial software 
applications that manage the entire data acquisition process. 
Applications like LabWindows from National Instruments 
(Austin, TX) or ViewDac from Keithley Metrabyte (Taunton, 
MA) provide a full graphical interface with "virtual instru- 
ments" for simulating actual instrument control panels on the 

Most software applications include a development language 
for designing custom data acquisition interfaces. Commercial 
software applications generally support a wide variety of data 
acquisition boards and external devices with either RS-232 or 
IEEE 488 interfaces. 

Data Acquisition: A Growth Market 
The growth of the personal computer has mainly focused on 
personal and office productivity. But data acquisition in the 
laboratory is a rapidly growing technology that is ideally suited 
for personal computers and workstations, particularly as they 
gain processing power and graphics capability. 

The combination of live video, sound, and real-time data ac- 
quisition offers enormous possibilities in many areas of scien- 
tific research and development. While not for everybody, data 
acquisition is an exciting field that should produce some daz- 
zling applications in the next few years. ■ 

Nicholas Baran is a contributing editor for BYTE. He is also the 
editor o/Baran's Tech Letter (Sandpoint, ID), a newsletter 
covering Next computers. You can contact him on BIX as 
"nickbaran. " 

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Circle 322 on Inquiry Card. 

MAY 1991 - BYTE 149 





Daily, the mountain of data to be processed into use- 
ful information grows. Larger and larger, it looms 
with no end in sight. The more reports we receive, 
the more we need. The more we read, the more we 
need to read, and the more we get eyestrain. 
Between the almost-paperless office and networking, 
managing all this computerized data is a monumental task. 
We must find ways to make sense of it all. I mean, how many 
gigabytes can you read and make sense of in a day? 

The Information Age may be here, according to the pun- 
dits, but most companies are still trying to handle all that 
data. Hardware and software aids are appearing at an in- 
creasing rate. In "The Data Swamp," Bob Ryan discusses 
different approaches to managing large amounts of data and 
turning it into useful information in a business environment. 

BYTE columnist and noted science fiction author Jerry 
Pournelle says that by the year 2000 anyone will be able to 
get the answer to any question. If that's true— and, knowing 
Jerry, it probably is— wide-area information servers may 
contribute many of those answers. Imagine having access to 
the Library of Congress— on-line! In "Browsing Through 
Terabytes," Richard Marlon Stein looks at WAISes— what 
they are and how they work. 

But to turn data into useful information, you need a 
means of judging what is useful. How do you prioritize the 
various forms of data? What criteria do you use to determine 
that one piece of data is more or less important than another? 
In "Prioritizing Information," Rear Adm. Grace Hopper, 
USN, Ret. , expounds on a subject that has interested her for 
many years: how to assess the value of data. 

An MIT research project has taken this assessment a step 
further in one particular application: E-mail. The Informa- 
tion Lens constructs intelligent filters that can determine 
what mail you must see right now and what can wait. In 
"Through a Lens Smartly," Mike Robinson describes this 
intelligent assistant, which is beginning to show up in prod- 
ucts, and the tasks it can handle. You'll be amazed at how 
"intelligent" this system really is. 

Another concern of data management is the security of 
your data. When you add the complexities of networked sys- 
tems—and heterogeneous ones at that— to the personal com- 
puter environment, the permutations of possible problems 
grow exponentially. In "From Pyramids to Peers," Tom 
Toperczer looks at data management applications and the 

facilities they provide so that you can examine and manipu- 
late data and make it safe in a distributed, networked envi- 

No section on managing gigabytes would be complete 
without talking about physical storage and the media that 
can hold gigabytes of information. In "Giga-Storage," Rich- 
ard A. Peters describes pri- 
mary and secondary storage | 
with capacities in this range. 
And in a related text box, 
"Native or Compressed?" 
Grant Wilcox talks about how 
data compression can in- 
crease storage and how much 
you should— or should not — 
rely on it. 

The management of huge 
amounts of data is a subject 
that spans many topics, some 
concrete and some more eso- 
teric. The concrete aspects 
have been dealt with quite 
successfully, between mas- 
sive-capacity backup tapes 
and optical jukeboxes, but the 
more esoteric aspects are 
more elusive, in definition 
and in solution. 

Grace Hopper says, "For a 
couple of decades now, I've 
been asking people how they 
value their information. I 
haven't received any answers, 
but I have received a really 
great assortment of blank 
stares." Well, the time for 
blank stares is over. If we 
don't get a handle on what's 
important in all this data, that 
mountain will bury us— and 
our businesses— in trivia. 

—Jane Morrill Tazelaar 
Senior Editor, 
State of the Art 

The Data Swamp 


Browsing Through 



Prioritizing Information 


Through a Lens Smartly 


From Pyramids to Peers 




Resource Guide: 
Massive IVIass Storage 

MAY 1991 - BYTE ISl 

Bend Us. Shape Us. 

Any Way 

Want To. 

As long as you love us, it's all right. And 
love us you will. Statistical software from 
SPSS is designed to work the way you 
work. By giving you the power to enter, 
edit, manage, analyze and present data 
on virtually every type of PC, worksta- 
tion, minicomputer and mainframe. By 
giving you better decision-making ability 
through the most comprehensive set of 
statistical procedures available, And by 
giving you a choice of options to meet 
your specific data analysis needs. So if 
you're thinking about statistical software, 
think about flexibility Because flexibility 
means value. And when it comes to value, 
we top the charts. 

The Accessibility of SPSS makes it ideal 
for beginners and advanced users alike. 
With its straightforward menus and con- 
text-sensitive help and statistical glos- 
sary, SPSS gets you started fast. And with 
the help of our time-saving programming 
facilities, including macros and a matrix 
language, you'll have the power to go 
deeper even faster. And regardless of 
your experience with statistics, you'll 
be supported by the documentation and 
training that's set the industry standard 
for over 25 years. Documentation that 
INFOWORLD calls "The Best in the 

The Statistical Procedures in SPSS 
give you the power to examine data more 
thoroughly, revealing patterns that might 
otherwise go unnoticed. We offer the 
most in-depth group of statistical proce- 
dures available, including univariate and 
multivariate descriptives, model building, 
hypothesis testing, clustering and classi- 
fication, survival analysis, time series and 
perceptual mapping. No matter what your 
question, SPSS provides the flexibility to 
find the answer. 

The Data and File Management 

capabilities of SPSS give you unparal- 
leled flexibility when preparing data for 
analysis. With SPSS, information can be 
quickly reorganized, cleaned and trans- 
formed, regardless of size or structure. 
Multiple missing values for nonresponses 
can be defined and labeled according to 
your specifications, while built-in controls 
easily manage information stored in com- 
plex file formats, including custom file 
formats. Self-documenting portable files 
give you the fi-eedom to move your analy- 
sis from one computing environment 
to the next, saving time and resources. 
And because SPSS supports most popular 
microcomputer file types including 
Lotusf DBF and SYLK, and offers free 
interfaces to such leading SQL-based 
database management systems as 
Informix: ORACLE® and Sybase,'^ 
there's no need to re-enter data or 
write out intermediate files. 

The Choice of Options offered by SPSS 
provides the flexibility to meet both your 
immediate and ftiture data analysis needs, 
Unlike other statistical packages, we give 
you more than just the ability to choose 
between the options you may or may 
not need. We give you a choice of options 
designed to work together. Options that 
work as a system, providing the best pos- 
sible software solution. Options for data 
entry and editing. Or producing publica- 
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to analyze the past and help predict the 
ftiture. Or to present your results with 
over 40 high-impact color displays, in- 
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No matter what you do, SPSS can help 
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So if you're in the market for statistical 
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Statistical Software For Ail Leading Computing Environments. Offices in Chicago- Washinaton, DC ■ Chertsey, UK • Munich • Singapore • Stockholm • Sydney -Tokyo - Vianen.The Netherlands - And Distributors Worldwide 

Circle 283 on Inquiry Card. 


Bill Gates talks about Information at Your Fingertips, but 
what about that slime on your boots? 


I uturists, commentators, mega- 
trendists, and other darlings of 
the best-seller lists have been say- 
, ing for some time that human- 
kind has entered a new age— the Infor- 
mation Age— where the basis of all 
wealth, power, security, and good man- 
ners is access to information. Welcome 
to the information society, where knowl- 
edge is power, the service economy is 
king, and a good agent can get you a 
$300,000 advance. 

Spend a few days in this brave new 
world, however, and you come away with 
a markedly different perspective. Rather 
than inaugurating the Information Age, 
computers have just mired us in the data 
swamp. They give you access to moun- 
tains of data, but in many cases they have 
not made it easier to glean useful infor- 
mation from all that data. Some call this 
condition information overload, but it is 
really data overload. Until you can get a 
handle on all the data available to you, 
the Information Age will remain little 
more than a blurb on a dust jacket. 

Managing a large amount of data in a 
business environment— and extracting 
useful information from it— is a hard- 
ware and software function. As with 
most areas of computing, the hardware is 
well ahead at this point. Powerful data- 
handling software is available, but pri- 
marily in structured environments, such 

Storage and Delivery 

The hardware side of managing data con- 
cerns storage and delivery. Although 
magnetic storage systems provide faster 
access and higher data transmission rates 
than do optical systems, the cost per 



megabyte of such storage is much great- 
er. In fact, given the removable nature of 
optical media, its cost advantage over 
magnetic media can border on the ridicu- 
lous. Even without considering remov- 
able cartridges, the advantage is signif- 

The latest advances in optical storage 
concern multidrive systems and multi- 
ple-media systems (not to be confused 
with multimedia). Multidrive systems, 
known as jukeboxes, let you store incred- 
ible amounts of data on-line. For exam- 
ple, the Hitachi OL321 Optical Library 
Unit stores nearly a half a terabyte (500 
gigabytes) on 64 WORM disks and can 
mount any disk in less than 10 seconds. 
Muhiple-media systems, available from 
many companies, let you use different 
types of optical media in the same drive. 
These are a godsend if you need to access 
CD-ROM, WORM, and rewritable opti- 
cal disks. 

In the past five years, optical storage 
costs have enabled applications that were 
not economically feasible with magnetic 
disk drives. At Children's Hospital in 
Boston, Stephen Wertheim uses an image 
database to store full-color neural im- 
ages acquired with a 35mm scanner and a 
video frame buffer attached to a micro- 

The Information Age has 
been touted for quite some 
time. However, the reality is 
that computers have buried 
us under mountains of data. 
How do you turn all that data 
into useful information, and 
how do you manage it all? 
Rather than information over- 
load, we are suffering from 
data overload. Depending on 
your environment, a number 
of different approaches, 
combining hardware and 
software, exist to help you 
glean useful information 
from very large amounts of 

The images are used in research and in 
teaching neuroanatomy to second-year 
Harvard medical students, with different 
Supercard stacks (Silicon Beach Soft- 
ware, San Diego, CA) providing differ- 
ent interfaces to researchers and stu- 
dents. The images are stored on two Sony 
rewritable optical disks and accessed via 
a database running on Mac lis. 

Requiring between 3 and 4 gigabytes 
of storage, the system would be prohibi- 
tively expensive using magnetic media. 
Thus, optical media not only increases 
the amount of storage available to you, 
but also enables new applications. 

On the Move 

Providing storage is only half the battle. 
It is also important to move the data from 
the storage device into memory— where 
it can be massaged into information— as 
expeditiously as possible. The limiting 
factor here is the communications band- 
width between the storage subsystem and 
the memory of your personal computer 
or workstation. More and more, you find 
that mass-storage subsystems are shared 
by many users in a network. 

Communications bandwidth is depen- 
dent on many factors. Beyond the storage 
subsystem's latency, you have to deal 
with the interconnects between the sub- 
system and the memory. These can in- 
clude the server's bus system, the net- 
work connectors and media between 
your machine and the server, the bus in 
your own system, and the software that 
controls all these disparate pieces of 

Interestingly, with the sudden rise in 
network connections, the expected battle 
royal between the Micro Channel and 
EISA bus systems has failed to material- 
ize. Given that the network medium is 
the slowest link between your largest 
mass-storage devices and memory, the 
speed of the bus in the end-user system is 
not very relevant. What is relevant is the 
bus in the server, which handles many 
requests simultaneously and moves data 
out to the network as quickly as possible. 
While 32-bit buses have not had a big im- 
pact on the desktop, they are critical in 
the LAN closet. 

The emergence of the network server 
as the prime data depository has led to a 
new class of server personal computers. 
Included in this class are machines, such 
as the NetFrame from NetFrame Sys- 
tems (Milpitas, CA), that are built 
around a proprietary architecture and 
those, like the Compaq Systempro, that 
are built around an open architecture. 

Perhaps the biggest change brought 
about by networks is the ongoing trans- 

formation of minicomputer and main- 
frame platforms from the primary com- 
putational devices on a network to big, 
fast servers. As desktop computers be- 
come more and more powerful and cost- 
effective, it is inevitable that they will re- 
place larger systems as your company's 
primary computational resource. Mini- 
computers and mainframes will continue 
to do what they do most effectively; 
move tremendous amounts of data rap- 

Given fast servers— whether micro- 
computer-, minicomputer-, or main- 
frame-based—the current bottleneck in 
transmitting large amounts of data is the 
network. While fast networks, such as 
the Fiber Distributed Data Interface, 
have appeared as backbones, most net- 
work nodes are still serviced by media 
that range from AppleTalk's 230,000 
bps to Token Ring's 16 megabits per sec- 
ond. As more and more data comes in 
graphical format, the need for a mecha- 
nism to economically bring FDDI-level 
speed (100 Mbps) to the desktop in- 

In response to this need, a number of 
companies are working on FDDI imple- 
mentations over twisted-pair wiring. 
Currently, the ANSI standard specifies 
an interface that supports wiring dis- 
tances up to 2 kilometers, and only opti- 
cal cabling meets this standard. 

However, the vast majority of network 
nodes are much closer than that. Realiz- 
ing this, companies such as SynOptics 
(Santa Clara, CA) and Cabletron Sys- 
tems (Rochester, NH) are working on 
delivering FDDI over twisted pair. With- 
out the requirement for optical cabling, 
FDDI could soon be an economical op- 
tion for many desktops. 

With the enormous volume of storage 
available with optical and high-capacity 
magnetic media, and with the platforms 
and networks available to deliver it, the 
crunch in managing large amounts of 
data is not on the hardware side, but in 
software. After all, only software is ca- 
pable of helping you transform data into 

Structured Data Management 

You can classify computer data accord- 
ing to the degree it is structured. The 
most common example of highly struc- 
tured data is a DBMS, where individual 
items are assigned to two-dimensional 
relational tables. Highly unstructured 
data is best exemplified by the text files 
you create with a word processor, which 
may consist of little more than variable- 
length paragraphs separated by carriage 

154 BYTE • MAY 1991 


The management of structured data is 
as old as computing and is still the prime 
task of computers at most companies. 
Database systems, spreadsheets, and ac- 
counting packages all work with data 
whose structure is well defined; each 
data item is a specific type that deter- 
mines how the software processes it. 

Most companies manage their struc- 
tured data using a relational DBMS and 
will continue to do so for the foreseeable 
future. With networks taking over, the 
chief database management concern is 
providing access to the data without com- 
promising its integrity. 

In the past few years, client-server 
database implementation has been ascen- 
dant. This model divides the database 
function into two parts: front-end client 
software that generates data queries and 
back-end server software that processes 
queries and returns the resultant data to 
the client. The server handles all data 
management functions, including secu- 
rity, file and record locking, and atomiz- 
ing transactirais. 

The advantages of the client-server 
model are twofold. First, it is much eas- 
ier to mana^ the database if all data is 
stored in one location. Second, the sepa- 
ration of the data engine from the front 
end lets any type of application access the 
database, including spreadsheets, busi- 
ness graphics programs, and accounting 
packages. Any application that generates 
acceptable queries can access the data- 

While wonderful in theory, client- 
server implementations are less than 
ideal. A server can only handle queries 
that conform to its specifications, yet 
there is no single standard for generating 
queries. The closest we have to a stan- 
dard is Structured Query Language. 

The problem with SQL is that you 
rarely find an ANSI standard implemen- 
tation of the language. Different data- 
base vendors extend the language in dif- 
ferent ways, making it difficult for those 
who supply client software to know what 
version of the language to implement. 
Thus, you can have situations where a 
spreadsheet client might support Gupta's 
server engine but not Sybase's or IBM's 

The problem is not technical, but one 
of politics and marketing. The best hope 
is that one of the engines will gain a large 
enough market share that it becomes the 
de facto standard. 

The second problem that is engen- 
dered by the client-server model is tech- 
nological. By its very nature, a database 
server will be the busiest node on any 
network, and it will therefore be the big- 

gest bottleneck in the network. 

Faster network cabling will help, as 
will schemes that give the server more 
packet buffers and greater access to the 
network. With token-passing implemen- 
tations, this latter might mean that the 
server node will get the token more 
often. In collision-detection schemes, 
such as Ethernet, this may mean giving 
the server node a shorter time-out on 
average than other nodes. 

Eventually, if hundreds or thousands 
of users need to share your database, it 
may be necessary to distribute the data- 
base over different servers. This intro- 
duces myriad consistency problems and 
negates the virtues of a centralized serv- 
er, but it may be the only way to make 
data available to clients without saturat- 
ing a network segment. 

Handling Multimedia Data 

Over the past few years, one of the major 
themes in computing has been the explo- 
sion of applications that rely on data that 
can't be structured the way an address 
list can. Computers now regularly access 
pictures, animations, sounds, music, and 
other types of data that aren't well suited 
to a tabular structure. As a result, re- 
searchers are looking at different ways of 
handling unstructured data. 

Two major concepts of how masses of 
irregular data should be dealt with have 
emerged. The first is to provide exten- 
sions to the current relational model; the 
second is to create object-oriented data- 
bases by enabling the storage and retriev- 
al of persistent objects. 

The object-oriented database is more 
radical and more reactionary than the 
extended relational model— radical be- 
cause it seeks to store data and the meth- 
ods used to access the data together 
rather than keeping data and methods 
segregated, and reactionary because in 
many ways it harkens back to the CODA- 
SYL-network-database model that was 
supplanted by the relational model in the 
early 1980s. 

At present, the relational model re- 
mains unsurpassed for handling the most 
common types of data you encounter in a 
business environment. Object-oriented 
databases, however, seem better suited 
to handling less traditional data, such as 
CAD drawings, image files, and other 
types of data normally associated with 
multimedia applications. 

For the time being, a multimedia data- 
base that can handle traditional and non- 
traditional data with equal facility is not 
in the cards. Businesses that use multi- 
media applications require specialized 
storage systems that cannot be easily 

Circle 46 on Inquiry Card (RESELLERS: 47). 


Drive with all the 
desired features, a 
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complete Drive Kit. 


Other Multimedia 
Products Available 

Toshiba Model XM3201BKit 
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NEC Model CDR82 Kit 
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Future Domain 1680 16-Bit 
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IDE Jukebox, lOdiisk, 
9 GB $5195 

Pioneer Model DD-U5001 
Internal WORM Drive, 
650 MB $2299 

Pioneer 650MB WORM 
Cartridge $129 

Corell Driver l/F Kit - 
WORM/Erasable ....$399 

Pioneer 5.25" Multifunctional 
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Genesis Development Corporation 

MAY 1991 • BYTE 155 


integrated with the company database. 
This situation will only improve if mar- 
ket pressure for such integration in- 
creases markedly. 

The Text Dilemma 
Ironically, the greatest impediment to re- 
alizing the Information Age is how com- 
puters handle— or fail to handle— good 
old text files. Much of the information 
you need to work effectively can't be re- 
duced to a relational table or encapsu- 
lated in a simple object. This informa- 
tion comes to you in the form of memos, 
E-mail, newspapers, wire-service news 
copy, journal articles, and so on. 

Between E-mail services, on-line da- 
tabases, and CD-ROM products, you 
have trillions of bits of relatively free- 
form data available to you at any time. 
So, the problem is one not of access but of 
culling significant bits from all those 
floating around in the ether. 

The problem of getting the informa- 
tion you need— and only die information 
you need— appears in two primary as- 
pects. The first involves the difficulty of 
obtaining just the information you need 
by searching electronic sources. The sec- 
ond involves dealing with all the infor- 
mation that just naturally comes your 
way in the course of the day. (This sec- 
ond area is discussed in "Through a Lens 
Smartly" on page 177.) I'U concentrate 
on the problems of information retrieval 
from external databases. 

Searching for Answers 
If you've ever tried to research a topic 
using an on-line information service, you 
know the frustration of data overload. 
You must first decide which databases to 
search and then construct queries that not 
only garner the information you need but 
also weed out extraneous material. Of 
these two situations, the latter is usually 
far more serious than the former. A sim- 
ple search of a news wire can result in 
thousands of "hits," which is only mar- 
ginally better than a query that resuhs in 
no hits at all. 

The basic problem is that, unlike the 
structured data in a relational database, 
there are no fixed keys for searching 
through text documents. Effective index- 
ing of unstructured data requires that 
someone read the document and provide 
keys that permit it to be retrieved when 
and only when it fits the search profile. 
(See "The Dark Side of DIP" in the 
April BYTE for more information about 
the process and problems of indexing.) 

Currently, due to the great number of 
information providers and the different 
indexing schemes and vocabularies used 

by them, it is extraordinarily difficult for 
an individual to effectively use more 
than a few data sources. For example, in 
researching the topic of indexing for this 
article, I had to try various combinations 
of terms, such as indexing, searching, re- 
trieval, text retrieval, text databases, in- 
formation bases, on-line information, 
queries, on-line queries, trends, technol- 
ogy, artificial intelligence, information 
filters, information refineries, and 
agents, as search keys on a popular on- 
line database. 

The process was only partially suc- 
cessful, because I didn't loiow the exact 
vocabulary the indexers used to describe 
the relevant stories (and the indexers 
were apparently less than consistent in 
applying their vocabulary, if they had 
one at all). I wound up going through a 
lot of irrelevant material because I wasn't 
used to the quirks of that particular data- 

That's just one database. The problem 
becomes magnified when the informa- 
tion you need is in several databases. You 
could spend so much time finding what 
you need that you have no time to read it! 

Solutions to this type of data overload 
are continually evolving. Some are com- 
mercial realities; others are university- 
based research projects. The best will 
eventually usher in that oft-proclaimed 
Information Age. 

Golden Retrfevers 

One way to deal with information re- 
trieval is to have someone else deal with 
it. Individual Incorporated (Cambridge, 
MA) is an "information refiner." The 
company captures data from dozens of 
on-line news feeds and provides you with 
information relevant to your needs, using 
a sophisticated information filter. By 
continually querying you about the effec- 
tiveness of the refined information you 
receive. Individual can closely tailor a 
filter to your needs. Once a day, the 
company sends you the filtered informa- 
tion via E-mail or fax. 

NewsEdge/PC from Desktop Data 
(Waltham, MA) is useful if you require 
near-real-time information. Attached to 
an FM receiver, it can run in the back- 
ground on your personal computer, noti- 
fying you of stories matching a keyword 
profile you've specified. At NetWorld 
'91 in Boston, Desktop Data showed 
products that work with LANs and cor- 
porate E-mail systems. 

Another significant information-re- 
trieval product is Topic Real-Time from 
Verity (Mountain View, CA). Instead of 
relying on keywords, Topic Real-Time 
uses concept-retrieval technology, using 

multilevel queries, where you assign dif- 
ferent weights to different subjects. This 
approach can be much more effective 
than Boolean searches, which treat each 
keyword equally. In addition. Topic 
Real-Time can refine its results by tak- 
ing advantage of the structure that some 
publishers use in delivering information. 

A drawback to using these informa- 
tion-retrieval systems is that, although 
they can greatly increase the relevancy of 
the information you download, you must 
still read the information to extract the 
meaning. Logically, the next step is to 
automate that process, too. 

Cut to the Quick 

The System for Conceptual Information 
Summarization, Organization, and Re- 
trieval is a project at the GE Research 
and Development Center (Schenectady, 
NY). Unlike many retrieval products, 
SOSOR operates in a limited domain— 
specifically, it culls information con- 
cerning mergers and acquisitions from 
Dow Jones News/Retrieval— and it is 
able to do more than simply flag interest- 
ing stories. 

Written in Common Lisp and running 
on a Sun workstation, SCISOR employs 
different techniques to retrieve relevant 
stories and extract information. Among 
these are many from the AI field, includ- 
ing natural-language processing and 
knowledge representation, and other 
more prosaic techniques (e.g., lexical 
analysis and word searches). 

Using these techniques, SCISOR re- 
trieves the stories and extracts informa- 
tion, such as the names of the companies 
involved in an acquisition and the per- 
share and total price of their offers. In 
addition, SCISOR can answer natural- 
language questions about the information 
that it collects with natural-language re- 

Information from Data 
SCISOR and the other examples above 
demonstrate ways you can use computers 
to deal with the very problem computers 
made possible— data overload. By mak- 
ing it easier to find what you want and, as 
with SCISOR, by performing some basic 
analysis of the data for you, products like 
these can keep you on top of develop- 
ments critical to your business. 

Together, hardware and software de- 
velopments are making it easier to handle 
massive amounts of data. We have yet to 
be extricated from the data swamp, but 
the wading sure is a lot easier. ■ 

Bob Ryan is a BYTE technical editor. You 
can reach him on BIX as "b.ryan. " 

156 BYTE • MAY 1991 

Circle 352 on Inquiry Card. — » 


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Wide-area information servers open a new frontier in personal and corporate information services 


i he Library of Congress archives 
roughly 25 terabytes in its collec- 
tion. To browse through this vol- 
ume on your own would be nearly 
impossible. Wide-area information serv- 
ers supply the means to achieve this goal 
by providing the user-interface structure 
and underlying information-retrieval 
protocol necessary to automatically col- 
late, collect, and integrate diverse data 
streams. WAISes can distill the contents 
of vast archives into neatly manageable 
and browsable folders. 

On-line information services, such as 
BIX and CompuServe, attest to the need 
for this kind of technology. Information 
has acquired a commodity-like status. 
While not on a par with wheat, pork bel- 
lies, or gold futures, the information-ser- 
vice industry fills a vital role. The next 
phase of information commerce will add 
WAIS capabilities to existing on-line ser- 
vices, opening a new frontier in personal 
and corporate information services. 

Intentions and Goals 

Initiated in early 1989, the WAIS engi- 
neering effort is spearheaded by Think- 
ing Machines (Cambridge, MA), the 
manufacturer of the Connection Ma- 
chine, a massively parallel supercom- 
puter (see reference 1). The principal 
goal of the research project is to demon- 
strate "how current technology can be 
used to open a market of information ser- 
vices that will allow a user's workstation 
to act as librarian and information col- 
lection agent from a large number of 
sources." (See reference 2.) WAISes aim 
to enhance existing information services 
and provide a utilitarian mechanism for 
the industry. 



*— Circle 352 on Inquiry Card. 

MAY 1991 -BYTE 157 


Information servers already provide 
direct access to many databases and ar- 
chive structures. You can easily check 
the local weather, make travel reserva- 
tions, obtain entertainment schedules, or 
browse through the latest stock-market 
quotes on-line. These services are highly 
interactive, charging users on the basis of 
minutes spent on-line, and each has a 
unique user interface. 

WAISes alleviate unnecessary user in- 
teraction through a predominantly com- 
puter-to-computer approach to remote 
information retrieval. By minimizing 
human interaction with a remote infor- 
mation server, they handle requests for 
information expeditiously and inexpen- 
sively. WAISes also alleviate unneces- 
sary complexity by moving all user inter- 
action to the local workstation and by 
having WAIS software handle all trans- 
actions with the remote server. 

On-line servers are limited in their 
connectivity. While many services, such 
as BIX, CompuServe, and AppleLink, 
incorporate wide-area network struc- 
tures, sharing information between dif- 
ferent services is not a wholly transpar- 
ent option. This restriction constrains 
information commerce and hampers the 
circulation of potentially useful ideas. 

WAISes circumvent this barrier with a 
standard itiformation-exchange protocol 

The next phase of informa- 
tion commerce will add wide- 
area information server capa- 
bilities to existing on-line 
services. WAISes provide the 
user-interface structure and 
the underlying information- 
retrieval protocol necessary 
to automatically collate, col- 
lect, and integrate informa- 
tion from various sources. 
When these are implement- 
ed, you should be able to di- 
rectly access such sources 
as the Library of Congress 
and the myriad of newspa- 
pers, journals, and books. 

that offers unlimited connectivity and re- 
trieval functionality. All servers can ap- 
ply the WAIS protocol to their archive 
structures to conduct information re- 
trieval. (Unlimited connectivity also 
raises concerns of security and privacy. 
See the text box "The Right to Privacy" 
on page 160.) 

Organized and coherent information 
of topical importance has value. Individ- 
uals and companies should be able to 
market their information to the widest 
possible audience. Current on-line ser- 
vices can't easily accomplish this, since 
their connectivity is restricted. 

To direct your information to the best 
marketplace, you could subscribe to mul- 
tiple on-line sources and post the same 
message on all of them. But it would be 
more efficient to post the data on one 
server and have the data, or an abstract 
of it, broadcast to the others. Using the 
WAIS protocol, WAISes facilitate this 
server function. 

Suppose, for example, you have re- 
viewed the latest set of RISC micropro- 
cessor benchmarks, taking note of spe- 
cific architectural advantages, and you 
wish to make this information available 
to others. The benchmark review is kept 
on your home computer (i.e., the local 
WAIS), which is equipped with WAIS 
technology. The nearest remote WAIS, a 
hub within a network of servers, also has 
a folder for RISC microprocessors. So 
you make a posting to the nearest hub 
server that inserts a pointer to the review 
on your home computer. 

Everyone with a computer running the 
WAIS user-interface software can pre- 
sent information to a server and receive 
compensation for whatever portion of it 
other WAIS subscribers access. The 
compensation can be monetary, or you 
can barter your information for someone 

Even publishers of books, magazines, 
newspapers, and music can participate 
and profit from WAISes. For example, 
how much money could a newspaper save 
in circulation costs if you received the 
morning paper electronically instead of 
printed on paper? Similarly, how much 
money could a book publisher save if you 
purchased a new best-selling novel elec- 
tronically instead of at a bookstore? 

Traditional information delivery is ex- 
pensive, and costs are rising. The U.S. 
Postal Service frequently raises its fees 
to cover increases in the cost of handling 
and transporting information. Tradition- 
al information transport also represents a 
significant fraction of transport volume 
and collateral energy consumption. 
Moving information electronically can 

result in enormous savings. 

Computer networks such as Internet 
are conduits of information transport. To 
replace manual transportation methods, 
the existing electronic infrastructure 
must accommodate the newly anticipated 
volume of traffic. Plans for "a national 
network of data superhighways," which 
will be installed within the next few 
years, are under way (see references 3 
and 4). 

A principal motivation for WAIS tech- 
nology is to be able to retrieve topical in- 
formation for research or investigation, 
not just to deliver consumable items like 
newspapers or books. Toward this end, 
WAISes rely on a novel structure for in- 
formation retrieval, the dynamic folder. 

To use a WAIS, you formulate a ques- 
tion (see figure 1), find the information 
servers that provide satisfactory re- 
sponses, and create a dynamic folder. 
The purpose of the dynamic folder is to 
constantly or periodically update its con- 
tents with new material on the subject. 

Formulating a question is natural to us 
all. The difficult part is locating the per- 
tinent information to answer it. Manual- 
ly locating the information can be labori- 
ous and tedious. WAISes automate the 
search-and-retrieval process. To deter- 
mine which servers hold the information 
most pertinent to your question, and 
where you should submit dynamic fold- 
ers, you may want to consult server di- 

Server Directories 

WAIS directories are servers that sup- 
port a directory-services function. They 
are indexes to other services within the 
WAIS network and are organized to help 
you locate information. Like telephone- 
directory services, WAIS directories list 
pointers to servers, which are grouped 
according to content and function. 

A directory-entry header contains suf- 
ficient data to describe the service, such 
as an English-language description of the 
server, the parent server (if the server is 
a subsidiary of a larger one), related 
servers, contact information (including 
networks and human-interface points), 
and cost information. 

The local workstation, when equipped 
with a WAIS, should maintain a direc- 
tory entry that includes the directory- 
entry header, a locally determined rank, 
subscription information (if any), user 
comments, and the time of last contact. 
You can use this information to decide 
whether to contact the server and how to 
handle the responses. 

By using content navigation, you can 
find the most appropriate server to 

158 BYTE • MAY 1991 



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<S> Whilst. JixjimI 

aq Computer Directors Approve 2-for-1 Stock Split 
•«-v Ihteriiational: Bull Agrees to Pay Zenith $15 Million to Em 
**A A'li^r Set to Announce Memorex Computer Accord 

7y',linology Brief — International Business Machines: Prit 
D-js-n ess Brief — D ata General Corp.: Four Models Are Ur 

1 iiok for documents about 

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*** Compaq Computer Directors Approve 2-for-1 Stock Sp 
International : Bull Agrees to Pag Zenith $15 Million to I 
AT&T Set to Announce Memorex Computer Accord 
*** Technology Brief — International Business Machines: ?• 'i 
*** Business Brief — Data General Corp. : Four Models Are 


•*.♦, Teishmjlcqg : C:c'mputer Firms S^f th* V.'ritinq on th* :5or«e 

[?) *** Retailing: Businessland Enters Japan, Aided by 4 Big Lo 


□= Technology: Computer Firms See the UJriting ( §i 

Internationol Busineas Machines Corp., Apple Computer Inc. 
and other big computer makers are staking out positions in 
the nascent market for "note-pad computers/' small machines 
that let users enter data by writing rather than tapping 
keys. The note pads typically recognize numbers and letters 
printed on a screen with a special pen and convert them into 
conventional electronic characters. The information is then 
stored for later transfer to a personal computer or a 
company's main computers. 

The size of the market for note- pad computers isn't clear, 
but I nfocorp, a Santa Clara, Calif., market-research firm, 
estimates the market will grow to 3.4 million units sold in 
1 995 from 22,000 units this year. Only one company, Tandg 
Corp.'s Grid Systems unit, currently sells note-pad computers 
in the U.S.; its model, introduced last September, is priced 
at $3,000. But new ventures are expected to introduce several 
note-pad machines this year. And already, big computer makers 
are fighting quietly for control over software standards for 
these gadgets, which require different programs from those 

MAY 1991 'BYTE 159 


The Right to Privacy 

AlStation, a prototype user 
interface developed by the 
Thinking Machines wide- 
area information server proj- 
ect staff, embodies many functional as- 
pects of WAIS technology. Forming 
and refining queries via relevance feed- 
back, server selection, and dynamic 
folders are the principal features that 
this prototype supports. These assets 
provide a powerful tool set for infor- 
mation retrieval. While WAIStation 
achieves several desirable technical 
goals, the security and privacy issues 
have not yet received serious attention 
and need refinement. 

Security and privacy issues are not 
specific to WAIStation or WAISes in 
general, but are endemic, topical con- 
cerns of the information-retrieval in- 
dustry as a whole. WAIS technology 
seeks to extend connectivity through the 
WAIS protocol, thus intensifying the 
urgency of security measures and stan- 
dards. Greater connectivity promotes 
information commerce, but it also adds 
to the risk of compromising the privacy 
and confidentiality of electronic trans- 

Individuals and corporations that 
subscribe to WAISes must safeguard 
proprietary information. The tendency 
to organize information within a com- 
puter for ease of access or to act as a 
convenient archive creates a security 

handle a query. For example, a question 
on RISC microprocessor benchmarks 
would list directory entries for servers as 
well as pointers to articles on the subject. 
When you retrieve a document, the di- 
rectory entry is also provided. Thus, you 
obtain ranking information for questions 
of similar content. 

Each server, then, contains informa- 
tion of value to certain subscribers. The 
dynamic folder can continuously poll 
newspaper servers for new articles as 
they arrive from the news wires, while it 
would probably query a dictionary or en- 
cyclopedia server only once, since the 
content changes much less frequently. 

Policing the large number of anticipat- 
ed servers (in the tens of thousands) re- 
quires an independent quality-control 

and privacy dilemma. And if the sensi- 
tive data is located on a machine with 
high connectivity, the risk is multi- 

A WAIStation that holds personal in- 
formation, such as tax forms, diaries, 
business transactions, medical records, 
or bank accounts, must be protected 
from intrusion by unauthorized individ- 
uals. A computer system storing this 
information "knows" more about you 
than you can instantly recall. Access to 
this personal data must be protected, 
controlled, and limited to authorized 

The WAIS protocol is an application- 
layer protocol that runs over X.25 com^ 
munications, modems, or IEEE 802.3 
(Ethernet) backbones. Residing beneath 
this protocol is the WAIStation host 
computer and operating system. Ex- 
tracting information from the server de- 
pends on access granted through a rec- 
ognition and authentication system that 
the host computer operates. Only autho- 
rized subscribers can access informa- 
tion from the server. 

The WAIS protocol is stateless, so 
each transaction, whether a query or 
document-retrieval process, exists in a 
separate context at the server. Subver- 
sion of the WAIS protocol, whether in- 
tentional or accidental, might unlock or 
bypass a server's native file-system pro- 
tection structure. If it did, the entire 

mechanism. An audit of the server direc- 
tory would reflect any server that fre- 
quently returns erroneous information or 
does not perform. An independent agen- 
cy like Consumer Reports, the Better 
Business Bureau, or other watchdog 
groups could create rating servers, which 
monitor and rate other servers in the 

These rating servers resemble movie 
and TV critics. Consumers acquire con- 
fidence in the reports and reviews that 
certain critics issue because they share 
similar tastes. Just as moviegoers start 
to trust a particular reviewer who has 
agreed with them on past movies, WAIS 
users will begin to trust the .specific rat- 
ing services that agree with them. 

A subscriber base generates income 

archive contents would be available to 
the intruding party. 

The WAIS protocol should be noncor- 
ruptible and should detect privileged 
transactions (i.e., those data streams 
that possess restricted command se- 
quences). However, to be effective as a 
noncorruptible application-layer pro- 
tocol, the underlying computer .system 
must also be unbreachable. 

Unfortunately, you cannot always 
guarantee protection. In 1988, a virus 
introduced through a known port as- 
saulted computer systems attached to 
Internet. Subsequent sleuthing discov- 
ered that a remote system could activate 
the debug mode of the Unix mailer, 
forcing the instigator into a privileged 
state. The debug mode then permitted 
the virus to propagate and multiply. 

Can a rogue dynamic folder, fash- 
ioned after the Internet virus, intention- 
ally access information from strategic 
servers running WAIS software? How 
will WAISes safeguard information 
against illegal intrusion? 

The right to privacy is inalienable, 
and WAIS technology or any enabling 
system that promotes information com- 
merce must preserve it. A cautionary 
approach toward implementating WAIS 
technology is necessary and appropri- 
ate. Several legal issues must be ad- 
dressed to secure both privacy and fair 
business practice. 

for a server. The rating servers will at- 
tract subscribers as well, for they direct 
trends in the information marketplace. In 
fact, they may become the first "infor- 
mation speculators" as a by-product of 
WAIS technology. 

Dynamic Folders 

A folder, like those found on the Macin- 
tosh, provides the WAIS framework for 
organizing questions. A folder is a re- 
pository for documents. A file system, in 
the Macintosh sense, is full of folders 
organized in a tree structure that sup- 
ports an efficient document-location 

To find a document within a file sys- 
tem, you typically use the find com- 
mand under Unix or Finder on the Mac. 

160 BYTE • MAY 1991 



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Technology: Computer Firms See the UJriting 

Computer makers are scrambling to cash in on people who 
the pen mightier than the l<eyboard. 
ternational Business Machines Corp., Apple Computer Inc. 
other big computer makers are staking out positions in 
nascent market for "note-pad computers/' small machines 
let users enter data by writing rather than tapping 
i. The note pads typically recognize numbers and letters 
^ited on a screen with a special pen and convert them into 



Look for documents about 

ecent developments in personal 

hich are similar to In these sources 

= Technology : Coi'l^ 

<t> i/jf/StJboirul 


El. «** Compaq Computer Directors Approve 2-for-1 Stock Split ^ j- 
El *** International : Bull Agrees to Pay Zenith $15 Million to Ent 
El *** AT&T Set to Announce Memorex Computer Accord 
El *** Technology Brief — International Business Machines: Pnc 
El **• Business Brief — Data General Corp.: Four Models Are Ur 
El *** Technology : Computer Firms See the Writing on the Scree 
El *** Retailing: Businessland Enters Japan, Aided by 4 Big Loca 

Figure 2: The similar to function lets you retrieve more documents on notepad 
computers using relevance feedback. You then might initiate a search for additional 
documents with similar content. Selecting text from a section of a retrieved document 
helps to refine subject-matter searches or locate collateral information. You can also 
use the selected text to execute a new query. (Courtesy of Thinking Machines Corp.) 

With one of these tools, you can locate 
the position of a file and gain access to its 
contents. Path-driven locators search an 
information base for a document's name, 
but they do not provide a means to exam- 
ine its contents. 

Retrieving documents pertinent to a 
specific question requires content navi- 
gation (i.e., examining the contents of a 
document, or a representative abstract or 
index for the document, for its relevance 
to the question). The similarity between 
the question and the document's index 
determines a retrieval score, an indica- 
tion of the likelihood that the document 
is pertinent. 

WAISes rely on the dynamic folder to 
encapsulate a question. In its most pas- 
sive form, it contains a question and a set 
of servers to target. The WAIS posts the 
dynamic folder to servers of known qual- 
ity and functionality, and then query 
processing begins. 

The dynamic folder executes a remote 
query that sends questions to the remote 
servers. There the questions find rele- 
vant information and return a list of doc- 
ument titles (document pointers) encap- 
sulated within the originating folder to 
the local WAIS system. The results from 

the query may initially include a list of 
documents with fair, good, or high 

Now you can refine your query strate- 
gy by perusing the document titles to de- 
termine which are the most appropriate 
documents. WAIS technology, in the 
form of the WAIStation user interface 
(see reference 5), assists this process 
through a content-associativity function 
known as similar to. 

The similar to function informs the 
WAIS user interface that a document is 
"interesting." The server uses this infor- 
mation to find other documents that are 
similar to the one you have chosen. This 
search strategy, an embedded compo- 
nent of WAISes, represents a significant 
improvement over traditional database 
methods, such as Structured Query Lan- 
guage (SQL) and Boolean search. 

This form of query execution is known 
as relevance feedback. It lets you extend 
the query to incorporate a "more-like- 
that-one" functionality and lets you re- 
trieve documents that have similar con- 
tents. The WAIS user interface is 
organized around the English language, 
and English-language-oriented query 
structures are easier to use than SQL. 

Microsoft Windows and IVIS-DOS are trademarks of Microsoft Corp. 

162 BYTE • MAY 1991 


The similar to function is like work- 
ing with a reference librarian. First, you 
state the topic of your research, which the 
librarian translates into queries. After 
you examine the results of the queries, 
you indicate which results were on the 
mark; thus, the librarian gains a better 
understanding of your needs and can im- 
prove the search. 

With relevance feedback, WAISes can 
retrieve documents with greater ease and 
speed. You no longer need to alter a SQL 
Boolean operator to adjust the query fil- 
ter; instead, you can ask for "more docu- 
ments like this one." 

Dynamic folders can also possess vi- 
tality, which gives the folder a continu- 
ous charter to execute queries periodical- 
ly and update its contents with new 
material. A folder's charter expresses 
purpose, intent, and the goal that you 
want the query to accomplish. You can 
build the folder to periodically poll serv- 
ers known to receive frequently updated 
material that matches its charter. 

If the search retrieves an interesting 
document, WAISes let you select a por- 
tion of the text and use it as an adjunct to 
the initial query. Selecting text from a 
portion of a document that may contain 
some particularly topical or relevant in- 
formation and using it to refine the 
search is an innovative approach for ex- 
ploring subjects (see figure 2). 

WAISes also let you chain questions by 
taking the results of a previous search, 
starting a new question with different 
subject matter, and dragging the previ- 
ous results into the similar to menu box 
(see figure 3). Chaining questions can 
either broaden or narrow a search, de- 
pending on the relevance-feedback re- 

The recursive capacity of dynamic 
folders to initiate "sibling" folders dem- 
onstrates the WAIS potential to harness 
and refine subject matter. Query refine- 
ment alters the charter of a dynamic 
folder. Sibling dynamic folders execute 
directed searches and can have an auton- 
omous authority to broaden the range of 
server choices. 

Controlling the extent of search expan- 
sion is a critical issue. For individuals, 
cost can be an overwhelming concern. 
WAIS technology does not yet contain an 
accounting system to govern search crite- 
ria. Participating information services 
will have to engineer this element of the 
technology themselves. 

WAIS Protocol 

WAISes promote connectivity and access 
to remote electronic-information sources 
through a standard protocol, the WAIS 


f 9 Ith relevance 
feedback, WAISes 

can retrieve 
documents with 
greater ease 
and speed. 

protocol. This protocol is an extension of 
the National Information Standards Or- 
ganization (NISO) Z39. 50-1988 specifi- 
cation, which defines an interface to 
remote information-retrieval services 

and library-protocol applications. The 
Z39.50 standard is the backbone of the 
WAIS protocol and the foundation for 
WAIS applications development. 

Incorporating the Z39.50 standard 
into the WAIS protocol frees developers 
to build articulated user interfaces for 
WAIS applications. The interface stan- 
dard isolates the server's text-retrieval 
method, such as SQL, giving the applica- 
tion a transparent access mode. The par- 
ticulars of database queries are hidden 
beneath the interface. A developer only 
needs to be sure that the server possesses 
an equivalent functionality to conduct 
remote information-retrieval transac- 
tions from a local WAIS workstation. 

Concealing the server's implementa- 
tion through the WAIS protocol is impor- 
tant in another respect as well. Isolating 
the implementation implies that you can 
specify a single, more palatable query 
language. The WAIS protocol also lets 
you use an English-language-style query 

Qubsliui. I 

Look for documents about 

recent developments 1n personal 


^hich are similar to In these sources 

= Technology : Coi 

<8> i/jffSf.^ru! 


El «** international : Bull Agrees to Pay Zenith $1 5 Million to Em 

(?) *** AT&T Set to Announce Memorex Computer Accord 

O *#« Technology Brief— International Business Machines: Pric 

E) «*« Business Brief — Data General Corp.: Four Models Are Ur 

ll *«* Technology : Computer Firms See t he Vriting on the Scree 



[?| *** Retailing: Businessland Enters Japan, Aided by 4 Big Loca 

** What's News — Business and Finance 

|?| «* Technology ; Computer Makers Agree on a Standard For 

|g| » Inside Track : Businessland Directors Take a Loss And Tra 

El • Technology & Health: Businessland To Report Loss For 3r 

El « Technology : U.S. Computer Maker Takes on NEC on Its Ow 

El * Technology : Computer Firms See the Vriting on the Scree 


Figure 3: Chaining questions permits you to use a query on multiple information 
sources by opening a new question and dragging previous query results into the 
similar to field. You can also apply the similar to operation to invoke a new 
document search, as in this example. (Courtesy of Thinking Machines Corp.) 

MAY 1991 -BYTE 163 


lexicon instead of cryptic SQL or fourtii- 
generation languages. When you find a 
document that is appropriate, the WAIS 
protocol automatically handles the 
download process from the server. This 
is quite different from existing services, 
where manual file-capture mechanisms 
require vigilance. With the WAIS proto- 
col, all documents look like they are 
local to your system. 

The WAIS protocol incorporates two 
important modifications that the NISO 
Z39.50 standard does not address. First, 
it permits hypermedia document trans- 
port. Most documents today are com- 

f f hite still a 
research project 
that Is undergoing 
and refinement, 
the WAIS holds 
immense promise. 

posed primarily of ASCII text codes and 
sequences, but the next generation of 
documents, constructed from hyperme- 
dia and multimedia sources, integrates 
images and fully formatted text. These 
media forms are rapidly becoming popu- 
lar and conventional. 

Second, the WAIS protocol is stateless 
for the server. It does not have to keep 
any information about the client between 
transactions, because the user's state is 
kept on the local workstation. Every 
search or retrieval operation is a separate 
process. The contexts are decoupled 
under the statelessness of the protocol. 
This decoupling lets you make a search, 
store away the document pointer, and re- 
trieve it later. 

Further, you can use a dynamic folder 
to pass one of these document pointers to 
someone else who can also retrieve the 
document. A document pointer is like an 
International Standard Book Number for 
the electronic age. (The ISBN is a unique 
identification assigned to each publica- 
tion.) Passing a document pointer con- 
forms with copyright law and lets you 

easily return to the document source in- 
stead of making copies. 

The WAIS protocol is designed to 
transport information through modems, 
X.25 communications, or network back- 
bones. This flexibility provides an enor- 
mous framework within which to con- 
duct retrieval transactions. For example, 
with a portable computer, you could con- 
nect with a WAIS hub through a modem 
and post dynamic folders, directing the 
query results to be routed to your office 
system for later examination. 

Retrieval Technology 

The computing infrastructure needed to 
implement WAISes varies with a server's 
functionality. A Library of Congress 
WAIS, with 25 terabytes of data, could 
not expeditiously dispatch queries and 
function if a serial computer were used to 
process the information. For a problem 
of this magnitude, massive parallelism is 
needed. The Connection Machine's 
Text-Retrieval System is a viable infor- 
mation-retrieval system for gigabyte-size 

The DowQuest service from Dow 
Jones runs on the Connection Machine. 
The service incorporates approximately 
1 gigabyte of original text derived from 
over 400 sources. The, Wall Street Jour- 
nal, the Washington Post, Barron 's. For- 
tune, Forbes, and several regional busi- 
ness and technical journals are includ- 
ed, covering the previous eight calendar 
months. The search time with a 100- 
word query composed of typed English 
and relevance feedback (e.g. , "more like 
that one") is less than half a second. The 
system can provide access to many giga- 
bytes of text and to thousands of users 

The projections for the Connection 
Machine system indicate that when it is 
scaled to a 1-terabyte database with 10- 
word queries, obtaining an answer with- 
in 10 seconds or less is highly probable. 
This performance is accomplished by 
harnessing the Connection Machine's 
65,536 separate processors to execute a 
parallel index algorithm (see reference 
6). These estimates are phenomenal and 
truly indicative of the computing power 
manifest in parallel systems. No serial 
machine can even come close to this level 
of performance. 

The Connection Machine system gen- 
erates these results by searching the en- 
tire contents of an archive, not a repre- 
sentative abstract of a keyword frequency 
table. Each document within the archive 
is used to determine a match. This is not 
typical for systems organized around 
serial computers, and it is another dra- 

matic demonstration of parallel-comput- 
ing technology. 

The cost of a system like the Connec- 
tion Machine runs in the millions of dol- 
lars. But a Macintosh with a 100-mega- 
byte hard disk drive or a 386-based PC 
can serve the typical WAIS user. 

Immense Promise 

The prototype WAIS user interface and 
protocol are currently being beta-tested 
at Thinking Machines, Apple Computer, 
and Dow Jones News/Retrieval. Think- 
ing Machines, the principal developer of 
the WAIS architecture and software, 
plans to share the WAIS protocol free of 
charge and hopes to help user-interface 
developers build interfaces to WAIS 

While still a research project that is 
undergoing development and refinement, 
the WAIS holds immense promise. Infor- 
mation commerce, buoyed through the 
widespread acceptance of computer sys- 
tems and networks, forces individuals 
and companies to expedite transactions 
and simplify activities. These coveted 
sources of efficiency stand out as promi- 
nent allies of competitive advantage. B 


I'd like to thank Annie Komanecky, Frank- 
lin Davis, Ben Rewis, and Brewster Kahle 
of Thinking Machines for their assistance 
during the preparation of this article. 


1. Hillis, D. The Connection Machine. 
Boston, MA: MIT Press, 1985. 

2. Kahle, B. "Wide Area Information 
Server Concepts." Thinking Machines 
Technical Memo DR89-1. Cambridge, 
MA: Thinking Machines Corp., 1989. 

3. Markoff, J. "Computer Project Would 
Speed Data." New York Times, 8 June 
1990, sec. A, p. 1. 

4. Markoff, J. "Creating a Giant Computer 
Highway." New York Times, 2 Sept. 1990, 
Part III, p. 11. 

5. "WAIStation: A User Interface for Wide 
Area Information Servers (User Guide, 
Prototype Version)." Cambridge, MA: 
Thinking Machines Corp., 1990. 

6. Stanfill, C, R. Thau, and D. Waltz. "A 
Parallel Indexed Algorithm for Informa- 
tion Retrieval." Thinking Machines Corp. 
Technical Report DR 90-2. Cambridge, 
MA: Thinking Machines Corp., 1990. 

Richard Marlon Stein is a software con- 
sultant and freelance writer from Van 
Nuys, California. He has a B. S. in phys- 
ics from the University of California at 
Irvine. You can reach him on BIX do 
"editors. " 

164 BYTE • MAY 1991 



p Connec- 
)ns of dol- 
based PC 


Times Change« 
The Need To Protect Doesnt. 


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IIx/Plus/SE/SE30 $248.00 

16MB for Apple Macintosh Ilfx $998!oO 


1MB for Compaq DeskPro 286N, 386/20, 386N, 386SX$ 68.00 

2MB for Compaq DeskPro 386/20, 386N, 386SX S128.00 

4MB for Compaq DeskPro 286e, 386/20, 

386/20e, 386/25, 386/25e $288 00 

For Compaq SLT/2a6 

1MB $148.00 2MB $288.00 

3MB S428.00 4MB $588.00 


1MB for IBM PS/2 Model 70-E61, 121, 55SX, ,55LS 

65SX. Sl 65LS $ 68.00 

1MB for IBM Adapter Board 6450605, 6450609, 

34F3077, & 34F3011 $ 68 00 

2MB for IBM PS/2 Model 70.E61, 121, 50Z, 55SX 

55LS, 65SX, & 65LS $128.00 

2MB for IBM Adapter Board 6450605, 6450609, 

34F3077, Sc 34F30I1 tl28 00 

2MB for IBM PS/2 Model 70-A21, A61, B21, & B61 , .$138.00 

2MB for IBM PS/2 Model 30/286 S168.00 

2MB for IBM Adapter Board 1497259 $168.00 


4MB for Sun Microsystems 3/60, 3/80, Sparc 1, 
Sparc I Plus Sparc 4/60 

4MB for Sun Microsystems 386i & SLC/420 . . , , 

8MB for Sun Microsystems 4/330 & 4/370 

16MB for Sun Microsystems 3861 16MB, 4/110, 
4/330, 4/370, Sparc l/Plus/460 

. $328.00 

1MB for Tandy 1500-HD , 
2MB for Tandy 2810-HD , 
4MB for Tandy 2810-HD . 




1MB for T1000LE/SE/XE/T2000SX ... . 
2MB for T1000LE/SE/XE/T2000SX .... 

4MB for TIOOOLE & T2000SX 

8MB for TIOOOLE & T2000SX 

2MB for T1200XE/T1600/T3IOOC 

4MB for T1200XE/T1600/T3100C 

2MB for T3100SX/T3200SX (Uses 1 slot) . 
4MB for T3I00SX/T3200SX (Uses 2 slots) . , 
4MB for T3100SX/T3200SX (Uses only 1 slot) 
6MB for T3100SX/T3200SX (Uses 3 slots) . . . 
8MB for T3100SX/T3200SX (Uses 3 slots) . . , , 
8MB for T3100SX/T3200SX (Uses 2 slots 
10MB for T31OOSX/T32O0SX (Uses 3 slots) . . . 
12MB for T3100SX/T3200SX (Uses 3 slots( . , . 

.3MB for T32O0 

2MB for T5100 

2MB for T5200/T5200C/T8500 (Uses i slot) 
4MB for T5200/T5200C/T8500 (Uses 2 slots) 
6MB for T5200/T5200C/T8500 (Uses 3 slots) 

8MB for T5200 (Uses 1 slot - You must first have 4MB) . $ 
10MB for T5200/T5200C/T8500 (Uses 2 slots) $ 
12MB for T5200/T5200C/T8500 (Uses 3 slots) $ 



1MB for Panasonic CF-150/CF-150B $338 00 

1MB for Panasonic OF-170 $188.00 

2MB for Panasonic CF-270 $368 00 

4MB for Panasonic OF-270 $688!oO 

1MB for Sharp PC-5541 & Tl LT286 

Models 25 & 45. , $448.00 

3MB for Sharp PC-5541 St TI LT285 

Models 25 & 45 , ....... $728.00 

For Compuadd Companion, Sharp PC-6220, 
TI TravelMate TM2000 

1MB $128.00 2MB $248.00 

For Compuadd Companion/SX, Sharp PC-6641, 

TT 1- fA.I„._ ^\<inetn ' 

TI TravelMate TM3000 

2MB $298.00 

4MB . 



AT&T 593 Laser Printer 2MB $188.00 

Epson EPL-6000 Laser Printer 2MB $188 00 

Facit P6060 Laser Printer 2MB .$188.00 

Mannesmann Tally MT905 Laser Printer 2MB $188!oO 

NCR 6435 Laser Printer 2MB . . . . ; $188 00 

Packard Bell PB9500 Laser Printer 2MB $188.00 

Toshiba PageLaser6 Laser Printer 2MB $188 00 

AT&T 593 Laser Printer 4MB $288 00 

Epson EPL-6000 Laser Printer 4MB $288.00 

Facit P6060 Laser Printer 4MB , .$288.00 

Mannesmann Tally MT905 Laser Printer 4MB ..... .$288 00 

NCR 6435 Laser Printer 4MB $288 00 

Packard Bell PB9500 Laser Printer 4MB $288.00 

Toshiba PageLaser6 Laser Printer 4MB $288 00 

HP LaserJet II/IID 1MB $118.00 

2MB $168.00 4MB $268.00 


1MB $118.00 

3MB $218.00 

IBM 4019/4019C Laser Printer 

2MB $178.00 

Panasonic KX-P4420/KX-P4450i 

1MB $138.00 

3MB $238.00 

For TI Microlaser & Microlaser/XL 

1MB $ 88.00 2MB $168.00 

3MB $248.00 4MB $328.00 

2MB $168.00 

4MB $268.00 

1MB $128.00 

3.5MB $248.00 

2MB $188.00 

4MB $288.00 

We arc not brokers. We manufacture 
each memory upgrade our.selves, which 
is why we can offer such low prices. 
Our guarantee is simple: 
We won't just meet any advertised price, 
but will beat any competitor's current 
advertised price on memory 
upgrades you find 
Nothing beats doing business direct 
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(Note: This guarantee does not apply 

to closeouts and the like. 
Competitive price must be presented 
prior to purchase from us.) 



T1000XE/20MB mth 3MB ... tl 

W/3MB $3 

W/9MB $4, 

W/3MB $3, 

W9MB $4; 

W/5MB .... .$3, 

W/9MB $4; 

W/13MB $4, 

W/5MB $4, 

W/9MB $4, 

W/13MB $4, 

T1200XE/2OMB with 3MB 

TI200XE/20MB with 5MB ... "& 

T1200XE/40MB with 3MB it 

T1200XE/40MB with 5MB ... it 

T1600E/20MB with 3MB it 

T1600E/20MB with 5MB I, 

T3100e/40MB with 3MB tt 

T3100c/40MB with 5MB '. 13 

T2000SX/20MB ' 

W/2MB $3,218.00 

W/5MB $3,558.00 


W/2MB $3,518.00 

W/5MB $3,858.00 


W/3MB $3,678.00 

W/7MB $4,108.00 

w/lIMB $4,528.00 


W/3MB $3,858.00 

W/7MB $4,288.00 

w/llMB $4,708.00 

T3200/40MB with 4MB 


W/3MB $3,258.00 

W/7MB $3,688.00 

w/UMB $4,108.00 


W/3MB $3,858.00 

W/7MB $4,288.00 

w/lIMB 54,708.00 


W/3MB $5,638.00 w/5MB $5 

W/7MB $6,068.00 w/9MB $6;: 



W/2MB $1 

W/5MB $2, 


W/2MB $2, 

W/5MB $2: 



W/5MB $2, 



W/5MB $3, 



W/5MB $3, 

W/5MB . , 
W/9MB . , 
W/I3MB . 

W/5MB . . 
W/9MB . . 
W/13MB . 

W/5MB . . 
W/9MB . . 











. -N/A 


w/lMB . . 
W/4MB . 
w/SMB , 
w/lMB. , 
W/4MB . 
W/8MB . 

W/4MB . 
W/8MB . 

W/4MB $2, 

W/8MB .$3, 

. . .N/A 

W/4MB , 
W/8MB . 

. . .N/A 






SV/2MB $2,208.00 


W/4MB $3,498.00 


W/4MB $3,788.00 


W/4MB $4,078.00 


W/2MB $1,138.00 


W/2MB $1,738.00 

W/5MB . .$2,078.00 

T1000XE/20MB w/2MB 

w/lIMB $6,488.00 

T5100/J00MB W/4MB 


W/6MB $4,748.00 

W/12MB $5,353.00 


W/6MB ; $5,108.00 

W/12MB $5,718.00 


W/6MB $5,518.00 

W/12MB $6,118.00 


w/6Ma $6,118.00 

W/12MB $6,718.00 

W/3MB $2,348.00 

W/2MB N/A 

W/6MB $3,788.00 

W/2MB N/A 

W/6MB $4,078.00 

W/2MB N/A 

W/6MB $4,363.00 

W/3MB $1,278.00 

W/3MB . 
W/9MB . 


W/13MB $6 


W/4MB $4, 

w/BMB $4: 

W/14MB $5; 

W/4MB $4, 

w/SMB $5, 

W/14MB $5, 

W/4MB $5, 

W/8MB $5, 

W/14MB $6, 

W/4MB $5, 

W/8MB $6,: 

W/14MB $6,1 


Evcrcx Tbmpo LX 386SX/20MB w/lMB RAM .... $2,098.00 
W/3MB RAM . . . $2,448.00 w/5MB RAM . . . $2,798.00 

Panasonic CF-170/20MB with 1.64MB $1,738.00 

Panasonic CF-270/20MB with 3MB $2,198.00 

Panasonic CF-270/20MB with 5MB $2,423.00 

Please note that each memory card/ 
module is fully tested and comes 
with a lifetime warranty and a 
24 hour exchange guarantee. 

All prices subject to 
change without advanced 
notice. We are not liable 
for typographical errors. 


So You Can See, 
Our Closest Competition 
Doesn't Even Come Close 


"Experts in portable intelligence" ^ 
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Limited to stock oti hand. All prices reflect cash discounts. 

Call today and we'll fax you our most 
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Rear Adm. Grace Hopper, USN, Ret., speaks out on how we must analyze, evaluate, and use 
the various kinds of data that we input into computers 

Compiled by JANET J. BARRON 

odel Ts totally changed the 
world of transportation. They 
cost between $300 and $600, 
. and all of a sudden, people 
could afford to buy and own cars. The 
whole world changed because of the 
Model T, and yet, somehow, we totally 
neglected the underlying concept— trans- 
portation as a whole. Because we didn't 
look at transportation as a whole, today 
roadbeds and railroads are falling apart 
all over the U.S. 

Now we're at the real beginning of a 
relatively new industry [the computer in- 
dustry] that will eventually be the largest 
in this country. And I am very much 
afraid we'll make the same mistake all 
over again. I'm afraid we'll continue to 
go out and buy pieces of hardware with 
flashing lights and lovely "user-un- 
friendly" software and totally neglect 
the underlying subject— the total flow of 
information through any organization, 
activity, company, and so forth. We 
should be looking at the information 
flow and then selecting the equipment to 
implement that information flow. 

Of course, to use our best equipment 
for handling the most valuable informa- 
tion, the first thing we need to know is 
which is the most valuable information. 
For a couple of decades now, I've been 
asking people how they value their infor- 
mation. I haven't received any answers, 
but I have received a really great assort- 
ment of blank stares. Some people even 
question that there's a difference in the 
value of information. 

I know of an oil refinery that's oper- 
ated by computer. Information comes in 
from marketing and goes to the com- 
puter, which opens valves and pushes 



MAY 1991 'BYTE 169 



stuff through pipes and tells inventory 
how much of the finished product has 
been made. The computer puts out pay- 
roll reports and makes out the checks, as 
well as generating reports on all the ac- 
tivity that occurs. 

Let's suppose that two pieces of data 
simultaneously enter that flow. One 
comes from a valve out in the plant and 
says, "If you don't open me, the plant's 
going to blow up. You have 45 seconds to 
act to save 78 lives and a $120 million 
plant." At the very same instant, from 
another part of the system, comes the fact 
that Joe did 2 hours of overtime. Which 
is the more valuable piece of informa- 
tion? And what are our criteria? 

Finding the Value of Data 

Most large companies insure their data- 
bases against damage, inability to access 
them, and other perils. What happens 
when the insurance company or the FBI 
asks, "How much is it worth?" Probably 
one of the biggest jobs we have ahead of 
us is to determine that value. 

We have totally failed to consider the 
criteria for the value of information. We 
haven't even defined our criteria. And 
yet we must know something about the 
value of the information and data we are 

I think we must create several priori- 
ties: the time you have to act on the data 
and the number of lives and the number 
of dollars at stake. But there's another 
one— the importance of that piece of data 
in making decisions. 

The total flow of information 
through any organization, ac- 
tivity, company, and so forth 
is v\/hat matters. Look first at 
the information flow, and 
then select the right equip- 
ment to implement that flow. 
To use the best equipment to 
handle the most valuable in- 
formation, you need to know 
which is the most valuable In- 
formation. That's the hard 
part. How do you value your 

We have completely failed to analyze 
the raw material that we are processing. 
We've spent almost half a decade talking 
about the process, the system, and the 
training. We've forgotten to look at the 
data or at the information we are produc- 
ing. We've also neglected to notice some- 
thing about information: Information is 
totally inert; it never does anything. It's 
something you see on the printed page, 
or you may see it on a computer screen, 
or you may hear it over a telephone. Al- 
though it never does anything, it still has 
to be fed through another process. 

We have a raw material that is called 
data. We feed it into a process. In this 
case, the process consists of hardware, 
software, communications, and trained 
people. Hopefully, the output product is 
information. Equally hopefully, this 
process is under some form of control 
and there's a feedback loop from the in- 
formation to the control to improve the 
quality of the information. 

This process consists of a human being 
who analyzes, correlates, relates that in- 
formation and turns it into something we 
can call knowledge, or intelligence— that 
we can make decisions on. But since 
we've added another process, we have to 
have another means of control and an- 
other feedback loop to improve the qual- 
ity of the knowledge. 

Take the example of a manager of a 

service business. Say he has 150 com- 
puters in his company, all providing data 
to him. He tells you, as his office man- 
ager, that he wants to know how much 
the firm has spent on gasoline for its fleet 
of vehicles. You can tell him how much it 
has spent on gasoline, but that's an insuf- 
ficient answer. 

Noting how many months there are left 
in the fiscal year, you should tell him 
how many gallons of gasoline the fleet 
has used so far and how many miles each 
vehicle travels on average per month. 
Considering the possibility of an oil 
shortage, you can also project how much 
each gallon of gasoline could end up cost- 
ing and, with some what-if scenarios, 
give your manager a rundown, in both 
figures and charts, of several possibili- 
ties of what the firm may have to spend 
on gasoline for the rest of the fiscal year. 

We have got to give people better an- 
swers—more complete answers. This is 
where we're going to need the little ex- 
pert routines— not the great big ones, the 
little ones— and we're going to need them 
very badly. One of the biggest jobs for 
these applications will be to find out 
what people need to know. What does 
the manager of a business need to know? 
We've got a tremendous job ahead of us. 

There's something else that is impor- 
tant about this information business. 
Information has an actual value to a 

170 BYTE 'MAY 1991 

New Features Menus or commands -your choice. Rewritten 
documentation includes statistics tutorials Fast, bulft-in drivers for 
SYGRAPH Global mapping and many new plots Muiti way repeated 
measures Means model for missing cells designs Post-hoc tests 
Interactive stepwise regression. 

StatistiC3 Basic statistics, frequencies, f-tests, post-hoc tests 

Muiti way crosstabs with log-linear modeling, association 
coefficients, PRE statistics, Mantel-Haenszel, asymptotic standard 
errors Nonparametric statistics [sign, runs, Wilcoxon, Kruskai- 
W/allis, Friedman two-way ANOVA, Mann-WhItney U, Kolmogorov- 
Smirnov, l_illiefors, Kendall coefficient of concordance) Pairwise/ 
listwise deletion of missing values, Pearson correlation, SSCP, 
covariance, Spearman, Gamma, Kendall Tau, Euclidean distances, 
binary similarities Linear, polynomial, multiple, stepwise, weighted 
regression with extended diagnostics Multivariate general linear 
model includes muiti way ANOVA, ANCOVA, MANOVA, repeated 
measures, canonical correlation Principal components, factor 
analysis, rotations, components scores Multidimensional scaling 
Multiple and canonical discriminant analysis, Bayesian classification 
Cluster analysis (hierarchical, single, average, complete, median, 
centroid linl<age, k-means, cases, variables) Time series Csmoothers, 
exponential smoothing, seasonal and nonseasonal ARIMA, ACF, 
PACE, CCF, transformations, Fourier analysis) Nonlinear estimation 
(nonlinear regression, maximum likelihood estimation, and more). 

ISrapiliCS overlay plots Drivers for most graphics devices 
Two-dimensional: Error bars Scatterplots Line and vector graphs 
Vector, dot, bubble and quantile plots Bar graphs (single, multiple, 
stacked, range) Box plots (single and grouped) Stem-and-leaf 
diagrams Linear, quadratic, step, spline, polynomial, LOWESS, 
exponential smoothing Confidence Intervals and ellipses (any alpha 
value) Smooth mathematical functions Rectangular or polar 
coordinates Log and power scales ANOVA interaction plots 
Histograms (regular, cumulative, fuzzy) Stripe and jitter plots 
Gaussian histogram smoothing Scatterplot matrices Voronoi 

tesselations Minimum spanning tree Maps with geographic 
projections (U.S. state boundary file included, county and world 
boundary files available) Chernoff faces Star plots Fourier plots 
Pie charts Contour plots on regularly and irregularly spaced points 
Control charts and limits Three-dimensional: Data plots Smooth 
function plots Vector plots Linear, quadratic, spline, least squares 
surface smoothing Typefaces that print in perspective, 

Bata lll3ai3rlrieSi5GL'lt import/export Lotus, dBase, and die 
files Full screen data editor Full screen text editor Unlimited 
cases Missing data, arrays, character variables Capability to 
process hierarchical, rectangular or triangular files, irregular length 
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Subgroup processing with SELECT and BY Value labels and RECODE 
statements Macro processor with programming language, screen 
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SYSTAT operates on IBM PC's® and compatibles, MS-DOS? 
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SYSTAT. Intelligent software. 

For more information call or write: SYSTAT, Inc. 1800 Sherman Avenue, Evanston, Illinois 60201-3793 Tel: 708.864.5670 Fax: 708.492.3567 
For international representatives call: Australia 61.3.4974755, Canada 416.424.1700, Finland 358.0.6923800, France 33.1.40935000, 
Germany 49.61.265950, Italy 39.587.213640, Japan 81.3.5902311, New Zealand 64.71.562675, Norway 47.3.892240, Sweden 46 8 110620 
Switzerland 41.31.416611, The Netherlands 31.3402.66336, UK: Letchworth 44.462.482822, London 44.81.6926636, London SE 44.0753 841686 

Circle 292 on Inquiry Card. 


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corporation. Someday, under "Other 
Assets," there's going to be an entry on 
the corporate balance sheet— "Informa- 
tion"— with a value on it. I asked the IRS 
how they plan to depreciate the value of 
information. They didn't answer me. 

A Question of Accuracy 

There are some other issues regarding in- 
formation that we need to address, such 
as accuracy— correctness of the informa- 
tion that comes from your computer. One 
year I turned in my budget, and even 
though it added up right and had beauti- 
ful charts in it, it was rejected for inaccu- 
racy. I put it through my computer again, 
and it came up with the same answers. 
Certainly, it was correct because it came 
from the computers. We've gone that way 
for too long. 

When one of my supervisors heard 
about this situation, he decided to find 
out the possible costs of incorrect infor- 
mation in a data-processing system. He 
found a section of the privacy law apply- 
ing to government employees in the mili- 
tary that dealt with this issue. 

It states that if there is inaccurate data 
in a personnel file and, because of it, 
someone is denied a raise or a promotion 
or otherwise treated improperly, they 
have a right to sue the federal govern- 
ment. The fact this law is on the books 
shows how serious a situation the mili- 
tary considers the possible consequences 
of inaccurate information. There are few 
cases an individual is given the right to 
directly sue the federal government. 

This officer decided to analyze the 
possible costs to the government of inac- 
t urate information in a personnel file. 
I le used a hypothetical case and extrapo- 
Lited, using statistical probabilities, and 
estimated the damages in a best-case 
- :enario. 

He came up with the fact that in just 
one possible situation, inaccurate infor- 
mation in a few personnel files could cost 
an organization in the range of $500,000. 
Now, this half-million-dollar projection 
was just for one not-so-bad case of incor- 
rect data unintentionally finding its way 
into a small percentage of one depart- 
ment's personnel files. 

You can use your imagination and 
multiply that figure by a factor of n. 
Then you can see for yourself how many 
millions of dollars of damage (not to 
mention the grief of those who get turned 
down for jobs, raises in salary, and so 
forth) that inaccurate computer informa- 
tion can cause. And the issue can't be re- 
solved by going to your boss and asking 
for hundreds of thousands of dollars to 
correct the files and save the company 

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money. We've got to find out something 
about, and analyze, the cost of incorrect 
information, and it's a subject we've to- 
tally failed to address. 

The Flow of Information 

Consider the concept of a river. It starts 
with little tiny rills, tiny drops of water 
going downhill. These drops coalesce 
into a small brook. That process contin- 
ues on and on until somebody decides to 
use some of that water. So, they build a 
little dam and create a small pool. They 
use the water there. Then it coalesces 
again and runs on down and finally gets 
to be quite a good-size brook, and the 
brook runs into another dam before it en- 
ters a lake. 

People use the lake water locally be- 
fore they send it into the lake itself, from 
which some of the water flows out into a 
main river, which goes into some part of 
the state. Everywhere along the way, 
there are dams and reservoirs, and the 
water's used, coalesced, and sent in a 
broader stream on down until it finally 
reaches the sea. 

I think data ought to behave this way. 
It should be collected locally at a branch 
office or somewhere and used there. 
Then it ought to be coalesced and for- 
warded to a regional office and used 
there, coalesced, and finally end up at a 
headquarters. Then there also would be a 
reverse flow that matches the river flow. 

Telephone lines parallel rivers. When 
headquarters decides that something 
needs to be done, it sends orders back out 
to all these parallel branches, out to the 
branch office. That's a real flow of infor- 
mation, where the data goes both ways, 
and it's used locally before it's sent on 
down to headquarters. It's not central- 
ized. There's no sense in sending every 
detail that concerns the branch office 
into Washington, D.C. 

It makes sense that when the data-pro- 
cessing and MIS departments within a 
company look only at the computers and 
the telephone lines that they control, 
they're not doing their jobs. They're not 
looking at the information itself, at the 
value of that information, or at who uses 
it and why. We have to learn to manage 
information and its flow. If we don't, it 
will all end up in turbulence. ■ 


The information in this article is from a 

speech by and an interview with Grace 


Janet J. Barron is a BYTE technical edi- 
tor. She can be contacted on BIX as 
"neural. " 

174 BYTE • MAY 1991 

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MIT's Information Lens project has laid the foundation 
for intelligent assistants for your E-mail system 

^Ike Robinson 

nformation overload is something 
like the weather, only a bit better: 
Yes, everyone complains about it, 
but some people are trying to do 
something about it. 

Consider E-mail. Almost every com- 
pany already has some form of E-mail, 
and information overload is often as 
much of a problem with such systems as it 
is with in-boxes; many users receive any- 
where from 30 to 100 messages daily. 
Handling that amount of mail, especially 
when you have been away for a day— not 
to mention several days or a week— is 
daunting, to say the least. 

What's more, the problem will grow 
worse. The number of electronic mail- 
boxes will soar from 17.4 million in 
1990 to 64.7 million in 1995, according 
to International Data Corp. (Framing- 
ham, MA). E-mail systems will increas- 
ingly be interconnected, a trend that's al- 
ready well under way. And beyond the 
messages themselves lies all that infor- 
mation you may want to find, made avail- 
able electronically by on-line news, stock 
quotations, and a host of other services. 

Enter Information Lens 

Information Lens, a research project at 
MIT's Sloan School of Management, ad- 
dresses electronic information overload 
by attacking not just the problem of deal- 
ing with the sea of messages many people 
receive, but also the problem of finding 
the information people need or want. 

Dubbed an information-sharing sys- 
tem, Information Lens uses concepts 
from AI and graphical-user-interface 
(GUI) design to create a kind of secre- 
tary or "intelligent assistant" that can 
sort incoming messages into meaningful 


MAY 1991 -BYTE 177 


From Information to Objects 

ho Int'oriniition Lciis pfoject 
LMulcd in lOH'J, wIk'h it w;is, inef- 
Il-ci. iriiiisrorinoci into tlio Object 
Lxiis project. Called "llie second 
iicncriitiiin" i>r the Information Lens 
system, Oiiject I.ens builds on the expe- 
rience M;ilone and his team had in using 
and enhancing the Inlormation I.ens. It 
therefore contains a large number of en- 
hancements suggested for the original 

These changes created a "significant 
generalization" of the Information 
Lens, so that the Object Lens can far ex- 
ceed it in the kinds of knowledge that 
can he representeil ami the ways that in- 
formation can lie manipulated. The re- 
sult is a knowledge-based system for de- 
veloping cooperative work applications. 
Another way its developers look at the 
system is as a user interface that inte- 
grates hypertext, object-oriented data- 
bases, electronic messaging, and rule- 
based inielligent agents. 

Like the Information Lens, the Ob- 
ject Lens relies on .semistructured tem- 
plates and rule-based processing, as 
well as a consistent graphical user inter- 
face and an inheritance network. But it 
goes beyond the Information Lens in 
that you can represent information not 
only about messages, but also about 
many other types of information— for 
example, people, tasks, and products. 
Such representation is possible because 
of the Object Lens's object-oriented da- 

()l>ji>cts and AKi'iit.s 

You create objects using semistructured 
templates and matchitig editors. These 
templates and editors are also based on 
fields and resemble familiar forms. You 
can group the objects into euslomi/able 
folders, which are themselves special 
kinds of objects. (You can also custom- 
ize the way a sunnnary cif the contents of 
a folder is displayed, as well as how the 
objects them.sclves are shown.) 

I-inally. the Information Lens's con- 
cept of rule sets has been extended to 
one of rule-based intelligent agents. The 
agents are semiautonomous: You arc in 
control in that you specify what they do 
10 what, and when, and you can always 
change or delete them. (You can also 
have them refer an object to yoti for ac- 
tion.) They are, however, autonomous 
in the sense that once yoti have created 
them, they can act without your doing 
anything further if yoti so specify. 

The ability to specify "when" is an 
important addition to the Object Lens. 
Not only can you have rules trigger, or 
"fire," when mail arrives, but you can 
also specify a time or limes I'or them to 
fire instead. 

Coniiiii; Attra(.'tiiiii.s 

MIT is making the Object Lens tech- 
nology (for which it has several patents 
pending) available for a modest fee. In 
fact, Ueyond and IW.C have licensed the 
technology. In addition. Agility Sys- 
tems is considering signing a licensing 


Beyond has incorporated some ele- 
ments of the Object Lens system into 
BeyondMail (see the text box "Going to 
Market" on page 182). but it is unwill- 
ing to discuss them. Some a.specis arc. 
in effect, present now: v)tliers are in- 
cluded in the system architecture as a 
basis for enhancements in later versions 
of the product. 

With its emphasis on managing other 
kinds of information. Agility Systems" 
VViJit looks more like the Object Lens 
than like the Information Lens (sec the 
text box "I'rorn Rules to Agents" on 
page 18(3). Perhaps more important, it 
borrows from the Object Lens in its use 
of intelligent agents instead of mere rule 
sets and in its ability to have the agents 
act at particular times. 

I)I*;C lias several research projects 
based on both the Information Lens and 
the Object Lens. TIil- projects, con- 
ducted by the .Advanced nevelopmcnt 
group of the Business Office Systems 
Ivngineeriug division, are in two main 
areas advanced information manage- 
ment and interpersonal computing. 
More specifically, they deal with such 
areas as the management of mail, news 
feeds, and other information, and the 
use of agents to maintain things like ap- 
pointment calendars and travel itinerar- 
ies. And last suntmer at OHC'World in 
Boston. \)\'.C showed mail filtering and 
context-based retrieval of information 
as part of its "Office of the I'uture." 

categories {or folders), prioritize the 
messages based on importance and ur- 
gency, and even go out and find speci- 
fied kinds of information. In addition, it 
can automatically respond to certain 
kinds of messages, and it can suggest ac- 
tions you may want to take once you have 
read other kinds of messages. 

The project, which ran from 1985 
through 1989, was conceived and di- 
rected by Thomas W. Malone, Patrick J. 
McGovern Professor of Information Sys- 
tems at Sloan and director of MIT's Cen- 
ter for Coordination Science. Earlier, 
Malone had worked at Xerox's Palo Alto 
Research Center, where people were 
heavy users of E-mail, There, Malone 

experienced the flood of electronic mes- 
sages many years before most people. In 
fact, he helped develop a prototype mail- 
sorting system at Xerox PARC to help its 
E-mail users. 

While this development was going on 
at Xerox PARC, people active in organi- 
zation theory were predicting that the in- 
ternal structure of large organizations 
would evolve into a conglomeration of 
temporary groups requiring lots of later- 
al communication (a structure first de- 
scribed by Alvin Toffler in Future Shock 
and known as ad-hocracy). One of Ma- 
lone 's interests was trying to figure out 
what might help serve such a need. 

At MIT, Malone worked on the prob- 

lem of information overload that E-mail 
users encounter, but general issues of 
group communication and coordination 
were always part of his concerns. With 
his preliminary ideas centered on two 
fundamental technologies of AI— rule- 
based processing and frames— he initiat- 
ed the Information Lens project. 

Lens Elements 

Malone's ideas coalesced into a system 
built on five elements: semistructured 
message templates (frames, in AI par- 
lance); sets of rules to process messages 
(AI's production rules); a consistent set 
of display-oriented (graphical) editors 
for composing messages, creating rules. 

178 BYTE- MAY 1991 

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Figure 1 ; An intelligent public mailbox, the Anyone server receives messages that 
include "Anyone " as an addressee and redistributes them according to rules written 
by individual users. 

and defining new message templates; a 
frame-inheritance lattice, or network, 
for message types; and a public mailbox, 
called the Anyone server, 

® Semistructured message templates: 
Semistructured messages are the basis of 
the Information Lens system. They make 
possible the powerful processing and 
highly graphical display-oriented editors 
that characterize Information Lens. 
Using specific message types further ex- 
pands the potential power of any rules 
and of the editors. Specific message 
types also help the system present intelli- 
gent options for what you might want to 
do after reading a message. 

Electronic messages, like the paper 
memos they emulate, already exhibit 
some structure, specifying basic kinds of 
information, signaled by To, From, cc, 
Date, and Subject. Beyond these fields, 
some types of messages have other fields 
or provide information that additional 
fields can easily specify; meeting an- 
nouncements are an obvious example. 

Using templates containing appropri- 
ate fields makes it possible to automati- 
cally process a much wider range of in- 
formation than you could otherwise. The 
fields, or structure, represent enough in- 
formation that simple rules can provide 
relatively powerful processing, and so- 
phisticated rules can provide even more 
power. Without fields, you would need 
an "intelligent agent" capable of natural- 
language parsing and free-text under- 

Semistructured messages offer several 
other advantages, some realizable even 
without automatic processing. A simple 
one is standardization, given that every- 
one in a group or organization uses the 
same message types. Another advantage 
is having essential information, like an 
action request and its deadline, immedi- 
ately apparent in its own fields, instead 
of requiring you to read a message to find 
out what you have to do and when it has to 
be done. (On the other hand, semistruc- 
tured messages still give you the flexibil- 
ity to say anything you want in the text 
field, and the fields can be edited as de- 
sired.) Message types and their fields re- 
flect the processing that people naturally 
do with the messages and mail they 

® Rule sets: Rules consist of a test (IF) 
imposed on the information in the fields 
(and, if specified, in the free-text part 
of a message) and an action (THEN). 
Grouped into sets, they allow much more 
powerful processing than simple Bool- 
ean queries, enabling you to specify ex- 
tended reasoning chains about what you 

want done with your messages and any 
information available from on-line ser- 

® Display-oriented editors: Graphical 
editors— also called direct-manipulation 
editors— that resemble what is being 
edited greatly simplify the editing pro- 
cess, making it easy even for novice com- 
puter users. Information Lens uses three 
similar editors: one for composing mes- 
sages, one for creating rules, and one for 
defining new message types. All are 
based on representations of message 
types, and much of the editing is done 
using menus of options. 
9 Inheritance network: Organizing the 
message types in an inheritance network 
simplifies the definition and use of semi- 
structured messages and of the process- 
ing rules as well. With the inheritance 
network, which is an aspect of object- 
oriented design, certain types of mes- 
sages are special kinds, or subsets, of 
other types of messages and automati- 
cally inherit properties and processing 
rules from the more general message 
type (i.e. , the parent) they are descended 

9 The Anyone server: The Anyone server 
is the only one of the five basic elements 
specifically designed to let you go out 
and find messages or information not ad- 
dressed to you. It is a public mailbox that 
runs on its own workstation and acts in 
some ways as a postal substation. You 
can send a message to Anyone, in addi- 
tion to the designated addressee or distri- 
bution list, indicating that the message 
may be automatically redistributed to 
anyone who is interested. On-line ser- 
vices could also be fed into Anyone. The 
Anyone server then distributes its mes- 

sages and feeds according to the process- 
ing rules for selection that individuals 
have written (see figure 1). 

To Have or Have Not 

Taken together, the above elements yield 
a system that offers a distinct advantage 
over most other intelligent systems: in- 
cremental adoption, both by individuals 
and by groups. In Malone's phrase, you 
don't have to "scale a cliff of learning" 
before receiving any benefit. Instead, 
you can adopt the Information Lens sys- 
tem in a "series of small steps, each of 
which requires only a small amount of 
learning and provides an immediate ben- 
efit, and each of which can be taken or 
not taken," as you prefer. 

In other words, you could initially 
adopt the most basic feature of Informa- 
tion Lens— message types (templates)— 

As an MIT-based research 
project, Information Lens fo- 
cused on methods that let 
you handle large amounts of 
E-mail and other on-line com- 
munications. Many of the in- 
telligent-assistant concepts 
developed for Information 
Lens are now being applied to 
commercial products. 

180 BYTE- MAY 1991 

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Watch for the next BYTE 
DECK mailing that will be 
arriving in your mailbox soon! 

Use this as a fast, convenient tool 
to purchase computer products 
and services. It's loaded with 
essential hardware and software 
products that you should be aware 
of when making your buying 
decisions. . .and it's absolutely 

If you have a computer product or 
service, and would like to reach 
275,000 influential BYTE magazine 
subscribers, please give Ed Ware 
a call today at (603) 924-2596. 
Here's what a BYTE Deck adver- 
tiser has to say: 

"Ten years ago we advertised in the 
very first BYTE Deck— the number 
of sales leads we received was 
enormous! The BYTE Deck was so 
successfiil fi>r us, that we have 
continued to use it over the past ten 

Lisa Tarpoff 
Marketing Manager 
Heatli Company 
Benton Harbor, MI 



foing to Market 

cyoiul (Cainbiidgc. MA), a |)rO- 
ducliviiy-sotiwiuv licvfloper for 
[K";il conipiilor users, is 
rojiilyiiis; a prddiicl. UL'yond- 
Mail. lhiii"s baM'il on ihc Inliirination 
I, ens pnijccl frdin MIT. The coiupaiiy 
was fuuiuicd in niid-l')K8 hy Charlfs 
Digato. a tbrnifr SLMiicir vice president of 
iinalytie prodiieis (spreadsiieets) al 
Louis Developnieni (Canihridiie. M.'\i. 

Dijzate's first 
employee was 
Eugene Lee, 
who received an 
M.S. in man- 
agement from 
MIT's Sloan 
School of Man^ 
agement, where 
he took one of 
Tliomas W. Ma- 

lone"s classes. 
Charles Digate , „„^,, 

recliir of piuduct planning for Hcyond. 
lie is responsible for the (Aerall arehi- 
teeiureof Heyond's piMduet line, the de- 
tailed definition oi the products, and 
nianagenient of the development orga- 

He.Nonil seems to ha\e taken the In- 
formation Lens approach - to create a 
s\siem that helps but doesn't necessar- 
ily solve the whole problem --even more 
to heart than the original developers 
did. 'I'he com])any has sealed back the 
reach of Information Lens, discarding 
not onis the Anvone .server and the idea 
ol giving people the ability to find infor- 
mation that \^as not sent diieetlj to them, 
bill also the frame-inheritance network. 

Nevertheless, Be>ond has added sev- 
eral useful capabilities and features to 
the Information Lens concept. The most 
significant of these enhancements is the 
abilitv to launch an application from 
within the program. 

UeyondMail uses the three other ba- 
sic elements of Information Lens-— 
semistriictured message tem|ilates. pro- 
cessing-rule sets, and display-oriented 
editors -and a similar capability for in- 
cremental adoption. 

The product is itself a complete I".- 
mail front end. 'I he company also 
stresses BeyondMail's role as a personal 

productivity tool for mailbo.t manage- 
ment and its function as a potential plat- 
form for the development of workgroup 
applicat ions. 

(.'urrenlly. UeyondMail has three 
message tyjies: the standard L-mail 
form, a phone message, and a request 
form. A meeting -announcement type is 
neariug completion, and Lee says that a 
fifth messiige type will he added by the 
time BeyondMail ships. 

With UeyondMail, you can create 
multiple rule sets for instance, a stan- 
dard set. one for when you are traveling, 
and one for when you are on vacation— 
and you can turn the sets on and off as 
needeil. Another added feature is that 
you can send and share your rules with 

Also new is the AutoTickle. With this 
feature, you can have the program auto- 
matically "tickle" a message, moving it 
into a folder wlien it is lime for you to do 
some particular task- such as return a 
phone call to someone who has been 

You can also use rules to create beeps 
or cusionii/ed visual alerts to signal you 
when certain kinds of messages arrive. 
I-'inally. you can configure Beyond- 
Mail's initial setup, so that it can. for 
example, start your l--mail session by 
showing you a list of messages 
marked urgent. 

BeyondMail was announced on .laiiu- 
ary 28 anil demonstrated at NetWoiid 
'91 in I'ebruary. The initial release, for 
IBM I'Cs and cojiipatibles. uses No- 
vell's Message Handling Service stan- 
dard for LAN messaging. It also works 
with native MI-IS products (e.g.. Da 
Vinci eMail), through gateways, with 
public H-mail systems (e.g., ce:Mail. 
MCI Mail, and All-in-l), and with sys- 
tems that conlbrm lo the X.4()() stan- 

Beyond.Mail runs in character mode 
under DOS or Windows .VO (a native 
Windows version is in development). 
The program requires at least a 2H(i pro- 
cessor and I megab>te of RA.M. Ship- 
ment is slated for the middle of this 
year. The price is S2fi() for a single-user 
copy and SI.W for an eight-user LAN 

182 BYTE • MAY 1991 

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Circle 1 24 on Inquiry Card (RESELLERS: 1 25). 



Action Request 




Bug Fix Request 

Request For Information 
Meeting Announcement 

LENS Bug Fix Request 

Seminar Notice 

LENS Meeting Announcement 

Software Release 

Publication Announcement 
NYT Article 

Network Discussion Article 
Conference Opener 
Bug Fix Commitment 

New LENS Sysout 
Bug Fix Announcement 

User Report 

Bug Acknowledgment 

Figure 2: The message templates are arranged in a network with more general types (to the left) and more specific types 
(to the right). 

and then proceed to adopt other features 
at various times. By using just the mes- 
sage type component, you would obtain 
the benefit of standard, semistructured 
forms (plus, in some cases, fields with 
default values filled in). 

Adopting simple rules gives you useful 
automatic processing procedures, and 
you can go on from there. You gain much 
of the benefit of rule-based processing 

even if no one else uses the system, since 
all E-mail messages contain basic fields 
on which your rules can work. By gradu- 
ally adding new rules, you can continual- 
ly increase the usefulness of the system. 

When groups of people who communi- 
cate frequently with each other all use 
the same message types, they gain fur- 
ther benefits from standardization. More 
important, as they increase the useful- 

ness or power of their rules, they gain the 
ability to create applications that support 
a variety of coordination and communi- 
cation procedures, like task tracking. By 
creating new message types and applica- 
tions, groups, too, can continually in- 
crease the system's usefulness. 

The Lens in Action 

Information Lens was first implemented 
as a prototype system, mainly through 
the work of Kenneth R. Grant, who was a 
research staff member at MIT at the 
time. The system was under development 
in various forms throughout the project's 
lifetime. Written in Interlisp-D using 
Loops (an object-oriented extension of 
Lisp) and running on Xerox 1100 series 
workstations connected by an Ethernet 
network, Information Lens was built on 
top of the existing E-mail system. Thus, 
people could keep using the existing E- 
mail system and be free to adopt as much 
or as little of Information Lens as they 

Information Lens has three basic mes- 
sage types— Action Request, Notice, and 
Commitment— that are distinguished by 
purpose, as well as a general, all-em- 
bracing message type called Message 
(see figure 2). Below those three basic 
types, the researchers created a variety 
of others; some are general enough to be 
applicable to any organization, such as 
Meeting Announcement, and some are 







Faculty Club 




To: Anyone 

From: Malone 





Meeting Date: 




Figure 3: The message editor uses the appropriate message template and pop-up 
menus associated with the template fields. 

184 BYTE • MAY 1991 


specific to the Information Lens project, 
such as LENS Meeting Announcement. 
The more general a message type, the 
more likely it is to be applicable to a vari- 
ety of organizations. 

The template for each message type 
contains a number of fields. Associated 
with each field are three properties: a de- 
fault value, a list of possible alternative 
values, and an explanation of why that 
particular field is part of the template. 
Some templates may have some of their 
fields' default values already filled in 
(see figure 3), 

To compose a message, you click on 
the message type you want, as listed in 
the message network. The template ap- 
pears on the screen. Clicking on a field 
brings up the basic editing menu for that 
field, showing its name and giving you a 
choice of viewing the default value, the 
explanation of the field's purpose (if you 
are not familiar with the template), or the 
list of alternative values (see figure 3). If 
you choose a value, it is automatically in- 
serted in the text of the field. You can 
also directly edit any field at any time. 

To find, filter, or sort messages, you 
call up the rule editor. This editor uses 
rule templates based on those used for 
the message types (see figure 4). It in- 
cludes the fields of the message type that 
you have chosen, plus other appropriate 
fields for the IF section, as well as a field 
for the THEN section. Pop-up menus ap- 
pear on the left side of the screen to aid 
you in filling in the fields. 

Because of frame inheritance, mes- 
sage types inherit the rules of all the 
types above them in the message net- 
work. However, just as with the fields 
and field characteristics that a message 
type inherits, you can delete or change 
any inherited rule. 

Shifting into Automatic 

To create a rule, you choose the message 
type you want it to apply to, select Edit a 
Local Rule Set, and then select Add. 
(Local rules are those that apply to indi- 
vidual mailboxes.) To specify the IF 
part of a rule, you fill in selection speci- 
fications for the message fields. The sim- 
plest kind is a string. 

You can create more complex specifi- 
cations by combining strings with AND, 
OR, NOT, and parentheses; in other 
words, you can use arbitrary Boolean 
combinations within any field. If you 
create specifications for more than one 
field, all the specifications must be met 
for the action to occur; that is, the speci- 
fications in different fields are combined 
using an AND operation. 

To specify an action, you click on 










Subject: CISR Lunch 




Message Type: 

Ignore After: 

Meeting Date: 





Move To: CISR Lunch 


a) IF Message type: Action request 

Action deadline: Today, Tomorrow 
THEN Move to: Urgent 

b) IF Message type: Meeting announcement 

Day: Not Tuesday 
THEN Delete 

c) IF From: Sili<, Slegei 
THEN Set characteristic: ViP 

IF Message type: Action request 

Ctiaracterlstics: VIP 
THEN /Wove to: Urgent 

Figure 4: Rules for processing messages 
are composed using the same kind of 
editor and the same templates as those 
used for composing messages. 

Figure 5: Examples of simple rules. 
Move To (a) and Delete (b) are two 
basic actions. The action can be to set a 
characteristic, and another rule can 
test for that characteristic (c). 

THEN and choose from the menu. Typi- 
cal actions put a message in a specific 
folder (Move To) or remove it (Delete) 
(see figure 5). The system includes the 
ability to create folders. Move To and 
Delete do not physically expunge a mes- 
sage; in the case of Move To, therefore, 
subsequent rules can put copies of a 
moved message into other folders. 

Every rule template includes a field 
labeled Characteristics. You create a rule 
to set the characteristics of a message; 

then you can create other rules to test a 
message for those characteristics. For 
example, you could create a rule that de- 
termines whether a message is from a 
VIP (e.g., if the message is from Presi- 
dent Bush, then it's a VIP message) and 
then test for that characteristic using 
other rules. 

This mechanism has the obvious ad- 
vantage of eliminating the need to repeat 
the specification of who is a VIP in all 
the rules that test for that characteristic. 


MAY 1991 - BYTE 185 


rom Rules to Agents 

gility Systems of Wultliain, 
Miissiicluisctts. \v;is tbunded in 
Aiijiusi \W) by John Landry 
and 'I'honias \V. Malonc to. in 
Landry's words, "exploit some of tlie 
things that had been done with the 
Intormalion Lens system ami to devel- 
op other things thai Malcme had not 
liioLight of." It is now readying such a 
product, which also incorporates an ele- 
ment of die Object Lens system. 

Agility retained much of the "infor- 
mation-sharing" nature of the Informa- 
tion Lens- that is. both the basic man- 
agement of elect ronic messages and the 
information-finding aspect. The latter 
function, however, is directed not at 
public messages but, rather, at on-line 
services and a comjiany's internal data- 
bases. (In other words, there is no Any- 
one server.) Thus, the system is aimed 
at people who don't want lo he bothered 
with the .syntax of. say. the Compu.Serve 
services or Structured Query Language 
queries for relational dataiiases. In- 
deed, when describing Agility's WiJit 
(\\ir With Information .lust in Time) 
product, Landry puts the use of It-mail 
to get information out of public and pri- 
vate database systems above the man- 
agement of internal H-mail. 

\Vi,|it ill Action 

In addition to Information Lens fimc" 
lions and features such as incremental 
adoption, Wi.Iit adils the Object Lens 
system's more powerful concept of 
semiautonomous agents (see the text box 
"I'roni Inforntation to Objects" on page 

178). With agents, you group sets of 
rules together to take actions for you at a 
lime or times that you specify. Indeed, 
Landry says that WiJil is "truly agent- 
ba.seil software." As such, he continues, 
the product makes possible "deferred 
connectivity." rather than real-time 
connectivity, to external and internal 

Like the Information Lens. Wi.Iit 
runs on top of an existing mail system. It 
starts with three of the basic Informa- 
tion Lens elements: message templates, 
rule-based processing, and graphical 
editors. While Information I.ens en- 
ables you 10 apply rides to Just your In- 
box, WiJit applies them lo the contents 
of a particular folder according to the 
specified status of the documents or 
messages -for example, new. op'ir.cci 
(read), or m!.;l 

More specifically, as with the Infor- 
mation Lens, yon group ytuir rules into 
sets, called ra.\k.\ in WLIil. An agent per- 
forms a series of tasks in order. Thus, 
you could have WiJit dial up the Dow 
Jones News/Retrieval every day at pre- 
deterndned limes, get specific stock 
quoles. arrange them in a particular 
way, and put them into a Stock Quotes 
folder. You coukl even have WiJit signal 
you if a stock or fell beyond a speci- 
fied range. (WiJii includes an interface 
lo DynaComin. a Windows-based coni- 
munications link.) Through Windows' 
Dynamic Data lixchange, you could 
also have the quotes put into a spread- 
sheet and launch your spreadsheet pro- 

Similarly, you could create an agent 
to query your company's sales database 
every Monday morning at 1():()() for the 
latest figures on a parlicular product. 
(WiJit interfaces with Q-i-It. a gateway 
package for Microsoft's SQL Server 
DBMS. ) You could then go on to manip- 
ulate that information as well. This ca- 
pability means that you can leave your 
machine on aiul have your agents work 
at night or when you are out of the 

In sending messages, you can mix 
multiple "forms" of communication. 
That is, you could have a message that 
goes to people on your local h-mail .sys- 
tem, through a gateway to people on 
other networks, to people elsewhere 
who are reacheii through a public mail 
system, or to people reached by your fax 
machine or by fax through MCT. 

You can create new message types 
using the editor, rules, or WiJit's script- 
ing language. You can also write script 
for tasks. (WiJil includes scripts for 
calling up MCI Mail. AT& T Mail. All- 
in-Oiie. Profs, and CompuServe and 
converting their message.^ or informa- 
tion into WiJit messages. It also lets you 
write custom .scripts.) 

I'lirthermore, you can program the 
system through messages - what WiJit 
calls "meiamail." That is, you can in- 
stall a new message template using the 
Install New Template message and a 
new agent using the Install Script mes- 

WiJit runs under Windows .^.0 on 
PCs with a 2H6 microprocessor or high- 

Furthermore, the characteristics mecha- 
nism also lets you construct tests that in- 
clude any combination of features in any 
combination of fields (i.e., arbitrary 
Boolean combinations among fields). In 
addition, taking an action always sets a 
characteristic (for instance, MOVED). 
Thus, subsequent rules can include a 
condition like "the message has not been 
moved" (i.e., NOT MOVED). 

Similarly, you can create rules to find 
messages of interest in the Anyone serv- 
er. Such rules, called central rules, are 
run by the Anyone server. Central rules 
are the same as local rules, except that 

your actions are limited to Show and 
to setting characteristics. Show causes 
Anyone to pass the selected messages to 
the central mail server for distribution to 
your mailbox. 

In addition to individual rules, Infor- 
mation Lens lets groups construct more 
sophisticated rules for dealing with spe- 
cialized message types. Thus, groups 
can create applications that automate a 
variety of communication and coordina- 
tion procedures, thereby increasing the 
benefits to be gained from using Infor- 
mation Lens. 

Finally, you can edit message types 

for your own use. You click on the mes- 
sage types you want to change and select 
Edit Message Template. The message 
template editor appears for that particu- 
lar message type, and you then modify 
any property of any field in the template 
in much the same way that you would 
create a message. 

New message types are created by the 
message template administrator. He or 
she has a more powerful template editor 
that works similarly but also specifies 
new message types for the system. Each 
new message type inherits the fields and 
properties of its parent unless the admin- 

186 BYTE • MAY 1991 

Circle 365 on Inquiry Card. 


^^r. riiciv iiiv plans lor :i version that 
will run under OS/2 PrL-sonlntiiin Mun- 
agt-r. In lie dcwlcipcd siiortly alter ihe 
DOS Windows release, as well as I'or 
a version I'or the Maeiniosh sonieiiine 

S-'utwre VViJit 

Wi.Iit was sehcduled to he t'ornially in- 
troduecd at the Piatlbrms for Comput- 
ing Forum on March I fi in Tucson. Ari- 
zona. It was supposed to be ready tor 
beta shipment shortly thereafter. The 
e.xaet product status and timing are un- 
certain, however, because Landry be- 
came executive vice president for Rifil) 
at Dim & Bradstreet .Software in De- 
cember WW. As this article was being 
prepiired, the Wall Sirccr Jiiiiriinl re- 
ported (l-'ebruary 28, 1^91 ) that \Vi.rit is 
'"likely to he acquired by Dun & Brad- 
street's software unit." 

According to l.andry. D&B is "'in an 
excellent position to use Wi.Iit as a key 
component of a new system architec - 
ture." He also notes that access 
through Ivmail makes all the parent 
company's information more valuable. 
Therefore, he is "very confident" that 
D&B will use the Wi.Iit technology. The 
question, he says, is whether Agility's 
arrangement with DAH will he exclu- 
sive. If so. that puts the .schedule for 
beta testing and general release, as well 
as pricing, in I)(<:B's hands. If not. 
others, too, may license the Wi.Iit tech- 
nology. .'\gility will pf()bably continue 
as a company, but it may not sell protl- 
ucts to end users. 

istrator modifies them. The administra- 
tor can add new fields and determine 
their properties as well. 

Future Lens 

Information Lens is an extremely power- 
ful, flexible system for coping with the 
information overload of E-mail and on- 
line-service users. It gains much of its 
power from rule-based processing and 
the use of semistructured message tem- 
plates, and much of its ease of use from 
GUI design concepts. Much of its power 
also comes from its firm grounding in 
how people already process information. 

In addition to providing the basis of the 
ongoing Object Lens project at MIT (see 
the text box "From Information to Ob- 
jects" on page 178), the concepts embod- 
ied in Information Lens are also begin- 
ning to appear in commercial products 
(see the text boxes "Going to Market" on 
page 182 and "From Rules to Agents" at 
left). The first of these will appear this 

Information Lens is capable of doing 
so much partly because its developers 
had a seemingly modest goal: They sought 
to develop a "somewhat intelligent" sys- 
tem, not an intelligent, autonomous one. 
What they came up with was, as Malone 
rather modestly puts it, "a system that 
can give you some help but does not have 
to solve the whole problem. " ■ 


I'd like to thank Professor Thomas W. 
Malone of the Sloan School of Management 
at MIT for his extensive cooperation in pre- 
paring this article. 


Lai, Kum-Yew, Thomas W. Malone, and 
Keh-Chiang Yu. "Object Lens: A 
'Spreadsheet' for Cooperative Work." 
ACM Transactions on Office Informa- 
tion Systems, vol. 6, no. 4 (October 

Mackay, Wendy E., Thomas W. Malone, 
Kevin Crowston, Ramana Rao, David 
Rosenblitt, and Stuart K. Card. "How 
Do Experienced Information Lens Users 
Use Rules?" Proceedings of the ACM 
Conference on Human Factors in Com- 
puting Systems, Austin, Texas, April 
30-May 4, 1989. 

Malone, Thomas W., Kenneth R. Grant, 
Kum-Yew Lai, Ramana Rao, and David 
Rosenblitt. "Semistructured Messages 
Are Surprisingly Useful for Computer- 
Generated Coordination." ACM Trans- 
actions on Office Information Systems, 
vol. 5, no. 2 (April 1987). 

Malone, Thomas W., Kenneth R. Grant, 
Franklyn A. Turbak, Stephen A. Brobst, 
and Michael D. Cohen. "Intelligent In- 
formation-Sharing Systems." Communi- 
cations of the ACM, vol. 30, no. 5 (May 

Mike Robinson is a freelance writer and 
editor in Lexington, Massachusetts, spe- 
cializing in a variety of electronics tech- 
nologies. Previously, he served as man- 
aging editor at the Technology Research 
Group (Boston, MA), a strategic consult- 
ing and market-research firm focusing on 
advanced electronics technologies for in- 
dustry. You can reach him on BIX do 
"editors. " 

iil=i:lH;;'Sli ,>-. '0 J'}. Jr-vSrl .1,1 
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MAY 1991 'BYTE 187 


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■e mark, trademark, orregislered trademark of the respective 


860 Has Arrived! 

Nine years ago, MicroWay used a similar head- 
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growing list of tools that make It easier to take 
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How upward compatible are our languages? 
Each NDP-860 language comes with an i860 
DOS Extender that makes It possible to call MS 
DOS directlyfrom an i860applteation. OurGREX- 
860 graphics library includes the MS C graphics 

routines as a subset and automatically drives all 
popular video adapters. If you are reluctant to 
run an 80 megaflop processor under MS-DOS, 
we can provide device drivers and interfaces 
that let our board run the three popular flavors 
of UNIX or run on a UN IX network as a computa- 
tion server. If you prefer DOS, like most of our 
customers, we have versions of our extender 
that are compatible with both DESQview and 
Windows 3.0. To sum it up, about the only excuse 
you have for not switching to a Number Smasher- 
860 is that you either enjoy waiting to get results 
back or you get a thrill spending the hundreds of 
dollars per day it costs to rent a 3090 or Cray. 

For more Infonnatlon, please call MIcroWay's 
Technical Support Dept at (508) 746-7341 . 

386, 486 and i860 Compilers 

Our NDP family of compilers generate globally 
optimized, mainframe quality code that njns on 
the 386, 486 or I860 In protected mode under 
UNIX, XENIX, SunOS, or extended DOS. The 
compilers address 4 gigabytes of memory 
while supporting the 80287, 80387, Weitek, 
and Cyrix coprocessors. Applications can mix 
code from all four compilers and assembly 
language.To simplify your ports, we offer Clear- 
View, our full-featured, windowing symbolic 
debugger that works with DOS versions of NDP 
386 and 486 compilers. 

NDP Fortran™ Is a full F77 with F66 and DOD 
extensions that is 99% VMS compatible. Also 
contains new F90 features. 

NDPC™ mns in two modes— K&R with Sys V 
and MS C extensions or 100% ANSI as 
validated by Plum Hall. 

NDP Pascal™ Is a full ANSI/IEEE Pascal, with 
extensions from C and BSD 4.2 Pascal. 

NDP C++™ is a fully AT&T v.2.0 compatible 
C++ compiler (not a preprocessor) that con- 
tains a full ANSI C compiler as a C++ subset. 
NDP C++ 386/486 $1195 

NDP Fortran, or Pascal 

860 versions include toolset and mn on 

DOS, UNIX or XENIX $1995 

386 DOS versions include NDP Tools . . . .$895 

486 DOS versions include ndp tooIs .... $1 1 95 

UNIX/XENIX 386/486 versions CALL 

NDP VMEM Virtual Memory Manager $295 

GREX 386/860 — A Ubrary of 160 kiwer level 
graphics routines (frEevflttiDOSoompilers); $495 
ClearViewTM-3/486 Symbolic Debugger: $395 
NDP-CrossRer"Our full function cross refer- 
ence utility that produces comprehensive data 
and function listings. Available for all N DP com- 
piler versions $195 

NDPWIndows™ Ubrary; $125, C Source: $250 

NDPPIoP'^ $325 

NDP/FFT™NDP or 80x87 version . . . ea. $250 
Halo Professional $595 

NDP NAG™ Wori<station library Is a subset of the 
NAG mainframe libraries. Has 172 routines for 
differential equations and eigenvalue problems, 
nnatrix operations, fitting curves, statistics and 

regression analysis 386 Version: $895 

T800 NAG for Transputers $2750 


Number Smasher-860 Is the highest perfor- 
mance coprocessor card ever to run in an ISA or 
EISA bus or as part of a transputer system. 
Delivers up to 80 million floating point operations 
per second at 40 MHz and produces over 12 
double precision Unpack megaflops. The board 
comes standard with an ISA interface, 8 meg of 
high speed memory, two transputer link adapters, 
and your chotee of NDP Fortran, C++, C or Pascal 
for the i860 tunning under MS-DOS, UNIX, XENIX 

orSunOS 33 MHz: $6995 

40 MHz: $9200 32 MB version: add $4000 

NDP NAG/860 is a Microway port of the NAG 

workstation library to the i860 $1 495 

NDP HALO-860 Includes HALO Professional 
and an interface library which makes HALO 

directly callable by the I860 $995 

860 Vectorizer includes PSR VAST-2 which 
converts a FORTRAN program into a new pro- 
gram which calls the Intel Vector library. In- 
cludes the Intel Vector Ubrary and MicroWay's 

860 Profiler $1495 

860 Vector Library — Written for Intel, the 
library includes over 400 vector primitives that 
take advantage of the i860's cache, dual 
instruction mode, and pipelined multiplier 
accumulator $495 

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Microway's FASTCache-SX was PC Week's 
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1 6MHz: $495 20 MHz: $595 Cable: $95 

FASTCache-SX/Plus™ — The "Windows 
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MicroWay's IBM compatible Monoputer, Quad- 
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providing mainframe power from $1 845 

LInkputer™ — Unks up to 8 boards to provide 
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Personal Workstation magazine, June 1990, 
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80387-1 6SX $280 
80387-16 . .$295 
80387-25 . . $439 
80287XL ..$180 

8087-2 . . . . 
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287Turbo-20™ $300 

Cyrix SX16MHz:$230 SX 20 MHz: $255 
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Data management takes on new importance in today's networked environments 


ow important is it to manage 
network data? In 1989, an In- 
fonetics Research Institute (San 
Jose, CA) survey of Fortune 
1000 companies found that networked 
corporations lost nearly $3.5 million an- 
nually in employee productivity due to 
LAN downtime, some of which was di- 
rectly related to failed storage devices. 
These same companies reported annual 
revenue losses in lost data and lower em- 
ployee productivity averaging more than 
$660,000. Data management in net- 
worked environments can significantly 
reduce these losses. 

Before the personal computer explo- 
sion, data management followed a simple 
procedure in a mainframe environment. 
A mainframe system typically has a CPU 
connected to terminals for input, periph- 
erals (e.g. , printers and plotters) for out- 
put, and storage devices for filing and ar- 
chiving data and holding applications 
software. Its storage devices usually take 
two forms: hard disk drives, or direct-ac- 
cess storage devices (DASDs), for pri- 
mary on-line storage and for application 
program and file retrieval; and tape 
drives for secondary off-line storage and 
archived-data retrieval. 

The classic pyramid-shaped storage 
hierarchy (see figure 1) is a good model 
for data management on mainframes. 
DASD space is allocated on the basis of 
user privilege, usage, and media cost. 
The operating system provides central- 
ized systems-resource management in 
this single-vendor environment. 

The advent of the personal computer 
made managing data easier for the indi- 
vidual—a one-on-one, or single-dimen- 
sion, task. While personal computers do 


MAY 1991 'BYTE 




Figure 1 : The classic centralized-mainframe storage hierarchy covers a variety 
of capabilities: backup; disk space management and grooming; archive and tape 
library management; and audit trails , accounting, and usage-trend analysis. 

not require the extensive data manage- 
ment software used on mainframes, they 
do need simple tools to help you back up 
and navigate through your hard disk's 
data. The pyramid storage-hierarchy 
model, although not necessary in this 
simpler environment, still applies. 

When LANs came on the scene, real- 
izing the benefits of combining personal 
computer power, data management took 
on another dimension. With more than 
one person using the data, how do you 
manage it? Who is responsible for back- 
ing up the file server and the hard disk? 
How do you prevent file servers from 
running out of space, and when they do, 
how do you get rid of the old, unused 
files? Are the shared resources of the net- 
work being used to their greatest advan- 

A third dimension was added when di- 
verse hardware, operating systems, and 
applications software became more 
available and the need or desire to com- 
bine these data resources arose. Trying 
to shoehorn multiple personal computer 
and network operating systems, vendors, 
and network-transport protocols was too 
much for the classic pyramid model, and 
the concept of client-server computing 
was born. 

The Client-Server Concept 

Client-server computing formalizes the 
natural distinction in an application be- 
tween those components that request ser- 

vices and those that provide them. This 
model's advantages over traditional net- 
working include the following: 

• It acknowledges the personal computer 
or workstation as the desktop device of 

• It takes advantage of the unique com- 
puting, networking, storage, and print- 
ing capabilities of the desktop device and 
the specialized servers; 

• It recognizes the benefits of network- 
ing flexibility, modular expansion, and 
compatibility of resources in dissimilar 

According to Forrester Research 
(Cambridge, MA), client-server com- 
puting will continue to emerge as a dis- 
tinct market through 1992, and by 1993, 
that market, including associated soft- 
ware and services, will total $2.9 billion 
in sales. 

Distributed Processing 

Personal computer networks can also be 
very efficient computing tools when they 
are used in a distributed environment. 
Distributed processing lets you allocate 
computing tasks in the most efficient 
way. For example, a specialized task like 
CAD might be allocated to a system that 
has a special large-screen monitor. 

The ability to distribute the processing 
makes a network more flexible and effi- 
cient than single-host processing. Since 

networks are composed of many intelli- 
gent machines, any of them, regardless 
of whether they are file servers or work- 
stations, can support the processing. 

Since distributed processing allocates 
system components among processors, 
the key to its sound implementation is an 
effective interprocess communications 
mechanism. The resulting system is 
more robust than a client-server imple- 
mentation because client-server archi- 
tectures do not take full advantage of the 
network's capabilities. 

It's important to realize that distrib- 
uted computing does not automatically 
indicate dynamic load balancing. {Dy- 
namic load balancing refers to real-time 
allocation of computing power among 
the requesting network applications.) 
Applications can be distributed a priori. 
For example, you decide which machine 
to install a server process on, and it stays 
there. If a task requires data or some 
other resource that resides only on that 
machine, the server process may not be 
able to offload it dynamically. 

Distributed Applications 

Distributed applications form a special 
case for the client-server model. In a 


The problems of managing 
data on a single computer are 
significant enough, but when 
you add the complexity of a 
LAN, and a heterogeneous 
one to boot, the problems 
can become overwhelming. 
Proper data management en- 
ables you to ensure data in- 
tegrity, manipulate data, ob- 
tain detailed reports on data 
usage, and completely re- 
cover your data after a cata- 
strophic failure— a major 
money-saver. Data manage- 
ment applications let you 
view, organize, and secure 
your data in a fully distributed 

192 BYTE • MAY 1991 


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distributed application, a process may be 
a client for its own native workstation 
and a server for everyone else. The dis- 
tinction between client and server de- 
pends on who you are within the net- 
work. If the process on your machine 
requests services from another machine, 
it is a client; if it has services requested of 
it by other machines, it is a server. 

The implications of distributed appli- 
cations oftentimes relate to their modu- 
larity. In the particular case of data man- 
agement, it is likely that each application 
will be sold as a separate product. At the 
moment, backup, server-based backup, 
librarian, and related products (e.g., 
virus protection) are sold by separate 

Even as greater numbers of vendors 
sell more applications, the software will 
in all probability be packaged and priced 
separately so that customers can pick and 
choose exactly what they want. This is 
particularly true as vendors start to sup- 
port different operating systems and 
CPUs. In the future, modular packaging 
and pricing will become the rule rather 
than the exception with distributed-appli- 
cations software. 

Data Management 

Leading industry analysts define data 
management as "the administration of 
data in a system such that it can be stored, 
backed up, cataloged, retrieved, and pro- 
tected in the most cost-effective way." 
Data is the lifeblood of all computing 
needs, and it is imperative to maintain its 

Proper data management enables you 
to ensure data integrity, manipulate 
data, obtain detailed reports on data us- 
age, and completely recover all data after 
a catastrophic failure. 

According to Peripheral Strategies 
(Santa Barbara, CA), 1.3 million per- 
sonal computer LANs were in operation 
worldwide in 1990, and 38 percent of all 
personal computers installed worldwide 
were connected to them. Peripheral 
Strategies predicts that by 1995 LANs 
will number 2.4 million worldwide, and 
the percentage of business personal com- 
puters attached to them will increase to 
89.2 percent. 

As LANs support more users and 
interconnect with other LANs and wide- 
area networks, new strategies and meth- 
ods for managing these large, muUiven- 

dor networks will be needed. Several 
approaches become more important 
when managing data in a multivendor 

One approach, enterprise networking, 
is well suited to large multivendor net- 
works. This approach provides a man- 
aged backbone that LANs can attach to 
and receive services from. This allows 
organizations that span continents to be 
maintained as one unit. 

However, data management is typical- 
ly left to local network administrators, 
while a centralized support staff handles 
backbone maintenance. The local net- 
work administrator still has to perform 
backup and data management duties. 
This approach forces local sites to handle 
data management. 

Unlike the traditional client-server 
method, which processes each request 
for shared information through the file 
server, the peer-to-peer services ap- 
proach identifies each of the worksta- 
tions as an entity in the network and 
allows communications and resource 
sharing between entities without the in- 
termediary functions that a file server 
performs. Thus, each workstation ap- 

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pears to be a small server of resources. 

Another approach you may want to in- 
corporate is directory and naming ser- 
vices, a component of several network 
data management environments. Similar 
in concept to the White Pages and Yellow 
Pages of a telephone book, these services 
map names to network addresses and 
provide lookup and cataloging of hard- 
ware, users, and system resources. You 
can search network addresses by name, 
as in the White Pages, or by service type, 
as in the Yellow Pages. Directory and 
naming services are becoming key re- 
sources of the network and its manage- 

The Challenge 

Different networks are made up of dif- 
fering host computers, operating sys- 
tems, and file systems. A typical net- 
worked environment might consist of 
several PCs on a LAN running Novell's 
NetWare or Microsoft's LAN Manager, 
connected to another LAN with several 
Macintoshes using AppleShare. The 
LANs may all be Ethernet-based, but the 
similarities will probably stop there. 
As more and more network software 

vendors enter the market, the more com- 
plex data management becomes. Single- 
source support for all of these multiven- 
dor environments is not available. Data 
management in these environments must 
provide a seamless, transparent, and log- 
ical method of managing data and ad- 
dress each of the following issues: 

• Storage requirements. As more compa- 
nies have realized the potential of the 
networked personal computer as a busi- 
ness machine, the size and complexity of 
applications and data have grown. Many 
networks now face increased require- 
ments for both primary on-line and sec- 
ondary off-line storage. It is not unusual 
to find networks with 1 gigabyte of pri- 
mary storage and, in order to provide 
sufficient backup capacity, several giga- 
bytes of secondary storage. 

• Ease of use. Data management must 
also be made easy. Graphical user inter- 
faces have made applications develop- 
ment much easier by providing an intu- 
itive environment. GUIs can be useful 
tools here as well. 

• Shared resources. Following the client- 
server model, data management soft- 

ware should offer shared resources. A 
data management server must be able to 
handle requests from multiple clients at 
the same time. In addition, access to off- 
line storage devices must be provided in a 
distributed, multiuser fashion, whether 
the device is attached to a file server or 
another workstation in the network. 
• Interoperability. This is the key to 
petwork industry growth. It allows cli- 
ent-server environments from multiple 
vendors to work together. The focused 
efforts of the major desktop and network 
operating-system vendors are necessary 
to achieve successful interoperability. 
With effective data management solu- 
tions and interoperability, heterogeneous 
computer systems can offer effective and 
viable enterprise-networking solutions 
(see figure 2). 

The Solution 

A network data management system is an 
example of an application that can bene- 
fit from distributed computing. This ar- 
chitecture separates the various compo- 
nents of the system: peer-to-peer com- 
munications, front-end applications, and 
storage-management services. The front 



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Figure 2: An enterprise network with centralized backbone communications management and local data management. 
Interoperability and effective data management can make heterogeneous networks viable. 

end runs on the workstation and becomes 
a client for data management services. 
The back-end server centralizes data 
management processes and services re- 
quests from all the clients. 

Distributed applications yield several 
benefits. A well-designed distributed ap- 
plication reduces network traffic by cen- 
tralizing some processes that all users 

can share and by allocating other pro- 
cesses to individual workstations. This 
improves the performance of the network 
and the application, particularly when 
using shared resources like tape backup. 
Modularity in distributed computing is 
more flexible, making it easier to man- 
age and install additional components. 
The following elements help to ensure 

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• Data backup and transfer, and hard 
disk navigation. In a distributed environ- 
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work users and administrators with a 

196 BYTE • MAY 1991 


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11 West 42nd Street 
P.O. Box 3861 
New York, NY 10163-3861 







Variation of my name 



Process 1 

Process 2 
T . \ 
Peer-to-peer connection 

Process 3 

Figure 3: Distributed applications connect much as Tinkertoys do. 
Instead of using multicolored sticks, however, they connect via the network 
and peer-to-peer communications. 

pictorial (icon-based) view of both the 
file server and all published local hard 
disks on a network. (When a local work- 
station makes some or all of its hard disk 
data available to other network users, 
that disk is considered to be published.) 
This workstation would also contain the 
utilities necessary to transfer data any- 
where in the network and to back up the 
data, either to a local tape device or to 
another tape device in the network. 
® Peer-to-peer. This element provides 
communications between all clients in a 
network. It is a required addition in net- 
works where peer-to-peer facilities do 
not already exist. Peer-to-peer commu- 
nications should operate over several net- 
work protocols (IPX, NetBIOS, Apple- 
Talk, and TCP/IP) so that file-system 
navigation and data transfer can take 
place over heterogeneous networks. 

• Tape/media cataloging and mainte- 
nance. An ongoing problem with tradi- 
tional network-backup methods is han- 
dling tape logistics— which tapes to use, 
and in what order. This problem be- 
comes more unmanageable as more sites 
are included in the data management 
process and the amount of maintained 
data increases. While tape/media cata- 
loging and maintenance is often a popu- 
lar topic of industry forums and white 
papers, few companies have been able to 
implement satisfactory solutions. 

® File grooming and data migration. Pri- 
mary on-line hard disk space is at a pre- 
mium in most networking environments. 
It seems users will fill whatever space is 
available. Creating more hard disk space 
usually means investing in additional re- 
sources. Grooming old, out-of-use hard 
disk files and migrating the data onto 
secondary storage media would free up 
valuable on-line resources. 

• Virus protection. Viruses can jeopar- 
dize data integrity and the operation of 
the entire system. The fear of lost or cor- 
rupted data has fueled a new market for 
virus protection and detection software. 

Note the difference between virus pro- 
tection and detection. The former im- 
plies active search, detection, and eradi- 
cation of known viruses. The latter refers 
to the systematic detection of corrupted 
data and prompt notification of the prop- 
er person to correct the problem. Data 
management applications should warn 
you if data integrity is compromised. 
9 Reporting services. Advanced data 
analysis is necessary to understand and 
monitor data usage trends. It provides the 
information necessary to make intelli- 
gent decisions on how to place and opti- 
mize network data resources to maxi- 
mize file-server performance. These 
services should be uniformly accessible 
from all client applications. Targeting 
data-access bottlenecks and resource al- 
location, you could generate reports on 
file-server free space, usage, and custom 

Green Sticks and Wire 

You could compare distributed applica- 
tions to Tinkertoys that are connected. 
Perhaps this explains why the term sock- 
ets caught on so quickly among network 
systems programmers. Instead of green 
sticks, distributed-processing applica- 
tions are held together by network 
"wire" and peer-to-peer communica- 
tions (see figure 3). 

Distributed computing has taken hold, 
especially in corporate environments. 
Data management applications provide 
the means to view, organize, and secure 
data in a fully distributed environment. 
These applications, when properly im- 
plemented, will provide the same reli- 
ability and confidence in distributed per- 
sonal computer systems in the future that 
centralized mainframe storage systems 
have enjoyed in the past, m 

Tom Toperczer is vice president of mar- 
keting for Mountain Network Solutions 
(Campbell, CA). You can reach him on 
BIX c/o "editors." 

198 BYTE • MAY 1991 

EXB-120 CHS 
5W (iifiiiliytes 


Ml Kfyli-i/Seaiiiil 
/lull /i r Hi te 


50 Gigabytes 

We know edacity. 

Whether it is simply backing up your workstation hard disk 
or online access to sequential data sets, EXABYTE has the right 
8mm data storage solution. 

With its ability to store up to 2. 5 gigabytes of information 
on a single 8mm cartridge, the EXB-8200 8mm Cartridge Tape 
Subsystem is the answer for today's data-intensive storage require- 
ments. And with over 180,000 installed worldwide, the EXB-8200 
has become the de facto storage standard in workstation, midrange 
system, and file server environments. 

The EXB-8500 8mm Cartridge Tape Subsystem advances 
beyond the performance of the EXB-8200 by achieving an extra- 
ordinary data transfer rate of 500 Kbytes /second, while providing 
over 5 gigabytes of storage capacity. In addition, high-speed search 
at 37.5 Mbytes /second allows rapid file retrieval. Keeping pace with 
today's phenomenal disk capacities, the EXB-8500 can back up a 
760 megabyte disk drive in approximately 25 minutes! 

Featuring an unparalleled compact design, the EXB-10 
Cartridge Handling Subsystem provides access to as much as 
50 gigabytes of information. An integral robotic handler performs 
automatic loading and unloading of up to ten 8mm data cartridges. 
Eliminating the need for manual intervention, the EXB-10 is we 
suited for LAN and super minicomputer backup applications. 
Circle 1 13 on Inquiry Cord (RESELLERS: 114). 

And if you have an application that demands extraordinary 
storage capacity, the EXB-120 Cartridge Handling Subsystem 
delivers up to 580 gigabytes of storage in only 4 square feet of floor 
space. It's ideal for the backup of large computer systems or near- 
line access to network data bases. With a potential for 12 days of 
nonstop, hands-off data recording, the robotically-driven EXB-120 
makes long-term unattended storage a reality. 

So whatever your application — backup/restore, jour- 
naling, archiving, data interchange, data acquisition, or 
software distribution — call the regional office 
nearest you or write EXABYTE Corporation 
at 1685 38th Street, Boulder, CO 80301. 

Eastern U.S. (407) 352-5622, Ext. 82 
Cenlral U.S. and Canada (708) 953-8665 
Western U.S. (714) 582-5211. Ext. 4 
Europe (Amsterdam) 31-3403-51347 

mm EXABYTE Corporation 

Erasable Optical. 

The day starts early for 
LaserStor Erasable Optical. 
It runs long. And it runs fast, 
at near-Winchester speed, 
actually This is one dynamic storage system with 
a voracious and versatile appetite for work. 

Here's what you get: » easy movement of 
an infinite amount of cartridge-resident data from 
near-line to on-line, without using valuable hard 
disk space • the most reliable and convenient data 
backup and archiving solution available ® primary 
storage performance, for everyday or emergency 
use 9 lock-it-away data security or carry-it-away 

Now check the credentials. Seek times as fast 
as 35 ms. Bootability Random and instant access 
to files. The industry's most comprehensive set of 
utilities software, including ARCserve® for backup. 
And your choice of 650 megabyte or one gigabyte 
cartridges, with certified data life of up to 25 years. 
Little wonder the PC Digest Ratings Report awarded 
us the highest rating for "capacity and overall 
performance unmatched by the other systems." 

Day or night, as a tool for productivity or a 
device for data protection, LaserStor Erasable Opti- 
cal is a timely choice. So call now. (408) 879-0300. 
Storage Dimensions, 2145 Hamilton Avenue, 
San Jose, CA 95125. 


I-., iii>"! 


© 1991 storage Dimensions 

LaserStor is a registered trademarii of Storage Dimensions 

Call Me, I'm Interested 361; Please Send Literature 362 



Choosing among mass-storage technologies 
in a multigigabyte PC environment isn't simple; there are conflicting criteria 


owerful 386- and i486-based 
PCs are placing new demands on 
data-storage systems. With the 
proliferation of gigabyte-plus 
database applications, the need arises for 
greater storage capacities and increased 
operating efficiencies. This is evident in 
applications such as high-performance 
CAE and desktop publishing worksta- 
tions, as well as data-packed LAN file 

Many PC applications need 1 gigabyte 
of storage capacity or more, and mass- 
storage technology must keep pace with 
this need. A variety of technologies are 
available for this new multigigabyte envi- 
ronment, and conflicting considerations 
are involved in choosing among them. 

Primary-Storage Choices 

A wide range of mass-storage technol- 
ogies for high-capacity systems exists on 
the market today. They compete with 
and often complement each other (see 
table 1). Any examination of what to buy 
begins with knowing if you intend to use 
the device as the primary- or backup- 
storage medium. 

The hard disk drive is almost omni- 
present with personal computer systems 
today. It is the dominant primary data- 
storage product and will remain so until 
the next century. 

Hard disk drives supplanted tape 
drives more than 10 years ago as the pre- 
eminent primary-storage medium be- 
cause the technology could randomly ac- 
cess data. Random access makes it 
possible to retrieve data anywhere on the 
disk in milliseconds. Many suppliers 
provide 1 -gigabyte-plus hard disk drives 
with varying costs, capacities, and 


MAY 1991 • BYTE 201 


Table 1 : The wide range of mass-storage technologies for gigabyte storage 
on the market today provides a full range of advantages and disadvantages. 
Weighing the pluses and minuses against your needs is the challenge. 

Technology Benefits Negative issues 

Hard disk 
Rewritable optical 

Quarter-inch cartridge 
4-mm DAT helical scan 
8-mm helical scan 

Random access 
High capacity 

Random access 
High capacity 

Low cost 

Compatible among 
multiple sources 
High data transfer rate 

High capacity 
Low media cost 
Fast search 

High capacity 
Low media cost 

Lack of removability 

High drive cost 
High media cost 
Lack of standards 

Low capacity, but increases 
are evolving quickly 

Lack of compatibility 

among multiple sources 
High drive cost 
Low data transfer rate 

Single-source supplier 
Low data transfer rate 

software-derived performance features. 

Hard disk drives are fixed devices 
with finite storage capacities. The finite 
capacity makes it important to know how 
much storage you really need— now and 
in the future. Since the medium is not re- 
movable, the data-processing system 
needs to provide for backup of the data- 
base. Backup data-storage systems must 
be rewritable and use removable media . 

The rewritable optical disk drive is be- 
coming a popular option for primary 
storage. Rewritable optical drives, cur- 

BVTE ,__SS!1M13 

The increasing storage 
needs of iarge applications 
for 386- and i486-based PCs 
have brought a surge of high- 
er and higher-capacity 
mass-storage devices. A vari- 
ety of different disk and tape 
choices exists, including 
some more-suited to primary 
storage and others more ap- 
propriate for backup. Making 
the right choice isn't neces- 
sarily easy; it may require bal- 
ancing your needs against 
your wallet. 

202 B YTE • MAY 1991 

rently featuring up to 600-megabyte ca- 
pacities per removable disk, record data 
on extremely thin platters that can be re- 
moved like floppy disks and moved eas- 
ily from system to system. The optical 
disk provides a two-sided medium that 
you must manually turn over to access 
the other half of available storage. 

Demand for optical-storage technol- 
ogy began with the advent of rewritable 
optical devices, which you can reliably 
reuse as often as you wish. In fact, testing 
by manufacturers has demonstrated that 
you can perform 1000 read/write cycles 
per day for 40 years with no degradation 
of data, disk, or drive mechanism. There 
are three main OEMs of rewritable opti- 
cal disk drives— Ricoh (San Jose, CA), 
Sony Corp. of America (San Jose, CA), 
and Hitachi America (Tarrytown, NY). 

Ideal as primary-storage devices in 
image-oriented applications in vertical 
markets, optical drives also have notable 
drawbacks. The key drawback is their 
data-access times. The random-access 
times for optical drives are 5 to 7 Vi times 
higher than those for hard disk drives (50 
to 150 ms compared with 10 to 20 ms). A 
primary factor is the weight of the intri- 
cate optical drive head. Even though the 
respective weights can be measured in 
grams, these heads tend to be 20 to 50 
times heavier than hard disk drive heads. 

The up-front cost for rewritable opti- 
cal disk technology is also very high. 
The average price for a 300-MB rewrit- 
able optical disk drive is about $5500, 
compared with below $3000 for a 300- 
MB hard disk drive. 

Finally, while hard disk drives can 
give you more than 1 gigabyte of continu- 
ous storage, current rewritable opticals 

give you a maximum of 300 MB per 
side— you must then manually turn them 
over to obtain additional storage. This 
amount of storage may be too small for 
LANs with more than 10 users. 

Rewritable optical disk drives have 
some utility in backup and archiving ap- 
plications, but high costs for the drive 
and medium make the technology cost- 
effective only when it is justified by 
other applications. 

Another type of optical technology 
should also be noted. You can only write 
to WORM (write once, read many times) 
optical disks once, but you can read them 
as often as you need to— much like a pho- 
nograph record (if anybody still remem- 
bers what they are). WORM drives are 
useful in specialized backup and archi- 
val applications, such as the storage of 
legal and financial documents, because 
the stored information cannot be altered. 

Backup Storage 

To protect against catastrophic data loss, 
you need to keep a backup copy of the 
data stored on your primary devices. Pe- 
riodic system backups performed to copy 
data from the primary device to an off- 
line medium become increasingly time- 
consuming and impractical with the 
growing size of a database. 

With today's multigigabyte PC appli- 
cations, having a backup mass-storage 
unit is a necessity. You use the backup 
device to make copies of frequently used 
data, transfer older data from the pri- 
mary unit, and retrieve archived data 
with maximum efficiency. While tape 
drives are no longer used as primary- 
storage devices, they remain the most at- 
tractive medium for inexpensive, remov- 
able, and high-capacity backup storage. 

The quarter-inch cartridge is the lead- 
ing tape-drive technology. It was invent- 
ed specifically for data-processing ap- 
plications. QICs now account for more 
than two-thirds of all tape-drive ship- 
ments, and they will continue to be the 
dominant backup technology well into 
the mid-1990s. The QIC manufacturing 
community began introducing products 
with storage capacities above 1 gigabyte 
late last year, and 6-gigabyte products 
are projected by early 1993. 

In comparison with competing tech- 
nologies, QIC drives are low in cost, with 
retail prices under $2000 for a 1.3-giga- 
byte system; 1.3-gigabyte cartridges re- 
tail for about $35. Data transfer rates for 
current products reach up to 600,000 
bps, allowing backup of 1 gigabyte in 
under 30 minutes. Any file can be ac- 
cessed in 40 seconds or less in 1 -giga- 
byte-plus tape devices. 


One Word About Your 
Hard Disk Controller 

One Word About the PSI 
hyperSTORE Controllers 

Intelligent Mass Storage Controllers 

Virtually all applications are disk 
bound. Today's PCs have over 60 
times the power of their ancestors 
of just ten years ago, while hard 
disk performance has only just 
tripled. This makes mass storage 
the PC's worst bottleneck. PSI has 
eliminated this bottleneck with 
the hyperSTORE Caching Disk 
Controller, a sort of mass storage 
co-processor. The hyperSTORE 

does for disk-intensive programs 
what a math co-processor does 
for number-crunching software. 
Databases, fileservers, multiuser 
systems, and other disk-hungry 
applications start screaming . . . 
frustrated users stop screaming! 
Call (800)486-FAST now to find 
out more about PSI's line of 
intelligent controllers. All you 
have to gain is time. 


■ Data access in 0.28nns or less, at 3-4l\/lB/sec 

• Works in any 286, 386, or i486 system 

■ Simultaneousiy controi any drive interface; 


■ Controis up to 28 ptiysicai disi< drives 

• 0KB to 201\/iB of SiiVliVi-based cachie nnemory 

■ Supports ali PC-based operating systems: 

DOS, Windows, UNIX/Xenix, Netware, etc. 

■ Data mirroring option for fault tolerance 


. ::epti¥e Solutions, Inc. 

800-486-FAST ■ 214-954-1774 ■ Fax: 214-953-1774 

Europe and Northern California: 415-284-9505 ■ Fax: 415-284-3238 
Botswana and Southiern Africa: (02) 313-020 -S.P.S. Pty, Ltd., Gaborone 
Australia/New Zealand/Mlcronesia: (02) 3 18 2337 ■ Fax: (02) 319 3069 

"Normally, it's a bit hard to pick tlie most impressive item at Comdex 
[Spring 1990], . . . Tliis time it was easy, ... the l\yperSTORE/1600." 

-Dr. Jerry Pournelle, Byte Magazine, September 1990 
"Tlie real-world result wiU be blazing record handling from witliin a 
data file as well as unstoppably fast program loads." 

-Bill O'Brien, PC Magazine, February 13, 1990 

"PSI has created the power user's ultimate Lego 
set for disk controllers: the hyperSTORE /1 600" 
-Alfred Poor, PC Magazine, June 12, 1990 

"Not only is it the fastest controller available, 
it's the most flexible, too." 

-Byte Awards, Byte Magazine, January 1991 

RapidFACTS • (900) 776-3344 • Doc# 8101 • Detailed specifications 
faxed directly to you 24 tiours/day. $4.95 billed to your phone.. 

Circle 252 on Inquiry Card (RESELLERS: 253). 


Table 2: In deciding which technology to purchase for gigabyte storage among 
the primary-storage media (hard disk or rewritable optical) and the 
secondary-storage media (QIC, 4-mm DAT helical scan, or 8-mm helical 
scan), the following are the criteria you should consider. 

Specification-related criteria 

Random/sequential access 


Transfer rate 
Access time 


Fault tolerance 

Data integrity 

Application-related criteria 


Shelf life 


Mixes and matches 

Growth potential 


QICs are also enhanced by the clear 
performance standards that manufac- 
turers in this field have developed. 
Through the work of a cooperative orga- 
nization known as Quarter-Inch Car- 
tridge Drives Standards, manufacturers 
now supply products that are inter- 
changeable between drive and medium 
regardless of origin. Some key suppliers 
of these products include Tandberg Data 
(Westlake Village, CA), Wangtek (Simi 
Valley, CA), Sankyo Seiki America 
(Torrance, CA), and Archive (Costa 
Mesa, CA). 

Two new types of high-capacity tape 
drives, 8-mm helical-scan tape and 4- 
mm digital audiotape, have made their 
presence felt in the last few years using a 
technology known as helical scan. Heli- 
cal scan describes how the tape travels 
over the read/write heads, which are 
mounted on a spinning drum aligned di- 
agonally with the recording track. With 
the drum spinning rapidly and the tape 
passing over the drum slowly, the head 
writes data in a diagonal pattern corre- 
sponding to the pitch of the head, with a 
high tape-to-head velocity. Helical-scan 
drives function the same as videocassette 
and commercial DAT recorders, and in- 
tricate error checking and redundancy 
must be implemented to produce an ac- 
ceptable error rate for data-processing 

The 8-mm helical-scan tape drives are 
provided solely by Exabyte (Boulder, 
CO). These drives provide the highest 
capacity-to-volume storage ratio of any 
mass-storage device currently in use (326 
MB per cubic inch) for storage capacities 
of from 2V2 to 5 gigabytes. The higher- 
capacity drives sell for about $3900 at 
OEM quantities. Medium costs are in the 

$10 range. 

DAT systems use a data-recording 
standard devised by Hewlett-Packard 
and Sony, called Digital Data Storage. 
DDS is currently licensed by 17 different 

DAT storage devices use the same 
tapes that DAT recorders use for enter- 
tainment purposes. The needs of the 
audio world dictate that DAT provide 

ptimizing your 
PC data-storage 
capabilities is a 
muitistep process. 
Pian for growtii. 

long recording times (2 hours) with rela- 
tively slow transfer rates (180,000 bps). 
The audio recording industry has lobbied 
successfully to protect its intellectual 
property rights against unauthorized 
copying by DAT devices. These restric- 
tions have reduced the availability of con- 
sumer DAT drives. 

The capacity of the DAT cassette is 
about 2 gigabytes. Medium costs could 
be as low as $7 each, but some experts 
say a special cassette may be more desir- 
able. The cost of such a medium may be 
$15 each. Drive costs at the OEM level 

are under $1000. 

DAT offers a fast-search capability 
that allows access to a file in an average 
time of about 15 seconds. Comparable 
time for a QIC is about 30 seconds. 

New Storage Trends 
Recent technological breakthroughs in 
rewritable optical disk drives and high- 
capacity tape drives have at least one 
common thread: They all provide un- 
limited storage because they use high-ca- 
pacity media that you can quickly insert 
and withdraw from the drive. 

This trend toward removability is fur- 
ther supported by jukeboxes, or auto- 
changers. These devices have recently 
become available for all three major stor- 
age technologies, although optical de- 
vices seem to be leading the way. A juke- 
box typically contains two drives and a 
mechanical arm used to select and load 
one of many disks stored within it. A 
newly announced optical jukebox con- 
tains 32 optical disks for a total storage 
capacity of 17 . 9 gigabytes . 

Another development unfolding, par- 
ticularly for very large storage applica- 
tions, is the mixed-media mass-storage 
systems. These systems use a combina- 
tion of hard disks, optical disks, and 
tape-to-store files. Where the data is 
stored depends on how frequently it is 
used— a particular file will automati- 
cally migrate from on-line hard disk stor- 
age to slower optical and tape systems as 
the frequency of its use decreases. Such 
mixed-media systems allow you to take 
advantage of all technologies, using each 
to its maximum potential. 

Buying Considerations 

There are several criteria you should con- 
sider when you plan to purchase a mass- 
storage medium (see table 2). The issues 
relate to the specifications of the prod- 
ucts and to the particulars of your indi- 
vidual applications. 

Several specifications are fundamen- 
tal to choosing appropriate primary and 
backup storage, beginning with how a 
mass-storage device obtains data— ran- 
domly or sequentially. A random-access 
device stores data randomly and retrieves 
it using an identifying address. A se- 
quential-access device stores data in a 
prescribed ascending or descending se- 
quence and retrieves it by searching for it 
from the beginning to the end of the file. 

Random access is typical of hard disk 
and optical disk drives, and sequential 
access is typical of tape drives. Random 
access is a more direct and faster method 
of accessing data, but you must weigh 
that against the increased cost, the size of 

204 BYTE • MAY 1991 

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Native or Compressed? 

Grant Wilcox 

The (.•omprcss-or-iiol-coinpress 
issiiu has existed for yeiirs, but 
llie iicivcnt of diita-eonipression 
cliips, performing wiiiil is 
turmeil losslcs.s eoinprcssion, lias made 
it popular again. 

Data compression maintains data in- 
tegrity and compresses the data in real 
time— transparently. It removes redun- 
dancy from u closed set of information 
symbols (i.e., a data block) without any 
loss of information. In simple terms, it 
records more data in a smaller space. 
Compression ratio is the length of com- 
pressed output relative to the length of 
uncompressed input. The key is that 
data stored in a compressed form must 
be reliably retrievable. (I'or more de- 
tailed information on data compression, 
see "Getting Your Byte's Worth," No- 
vember I'JW) BYTF'fand "Putting the 
Squeeze on Graphics," rjccember 1990 

Benefits can be derived from imple- 
menting data compression at the periph- 
eral level. You can theoretically in- 
crease the peripheral's capacity by the 
factor of the compression ratio and can 
increase the peripheral's internal con- 
tinuous-transfer rate because it's re- 
cording less data, f'or example, a 2-to-l 
compression factor could double the pe- 
ripheral's sustained data rate. 

However, Mike Casey from InfoCorp 
(Cupertino, CA) pointed out. "If data 
compi'ession is implemented at the sys- 
tem level, no benefit will be obtained by 
incorporated data compression in an in- 
telligent disk or tape drive." Also, if 
data interchange is a requirement, all 
systems involved not only need com- 
pression but must use the same hard- 
ware/firmware implementation of it, or 

they will find their data unreadable. 

Remember, not all data lends itself to 
compression. First, the benefits will 
vary because the amount of data redtm- 
dancy varies widely among types of 
data; this variation changes the com- 
pression ratio. Second, you will benefit 
from compression only if the host sys- 
tem can support the higher continuous- 
transfer rates. Third, the benefits will 
be negated if the compression process 
cannot keep up with system needs. 
Fourth, compressed data may actually 
expand when compressed again. Witli 
compression, there are no hard and fast 

Compression is not the complete an- 
swer to the need for increased capacity 
and data rate. The decision to adopt data 
compression must be carefully thought 
out of its associated risks. If 
you are interested in unattended back- 
up, it's wise to rely on native capacity 
instead ol' compressed capacity. With 
native capacity, you know that the data 
will fit on a particular medium and that 
it will take a certain length of time to 
back up. 

Many standards and implementations 
of data compression exist, such as Hew- 
lett-Packard's, STAG'S. IBM's, and a 
number of other proprietary algo- 
rithms. You could almost say it's iilfto- 
riihin (lii joiir. (liven the rapid advances 
in computer throughput, it is extremely 
important that the compression algo- 
rithm be able to handle the higher data 
rates of future systems. Some cannot. 

In addition, different companies, 
using the same compression algorithm, 
may offer imique implementations of it. 
Furthermore, multiple compression al- 
gorithms on top of multiple formats 

(e.g., digital audiotape's DDS and Da- 
la/DAT) create more confusion. You 
can only roll the dice and hope your se- 
lected product, format, algorithm, and 
vendor are around in the coming years. 

Whole sections of the computer in- 
dustry, mainly at the high end, are at- 
tracted to S-nnn tape's large data-stor- 
age capabilities and low cost, but 
they've held back because of transfer 
rate. In these cases, adding data com- 
pression will satisfy their needs until K- 
mm products with further native-per- 
formance increases are introduced. 

When looking to the future, technol- 
ogies that can be extended without com- 
pression are ultimately much belter than 
those that can only be extended with 
compression. You can always improve 
the native performance by adding com- i 
pression to it. Kxabyte (Boulder, CO) i 
currently has plans to extend the 8-nmi 
tape's transfer rate to I megabyte per i 
second and the cartridge capacity up to 
10 gigabytes using current native tech- i 

Be aware that some backup periph- i 
erals arc being adverti.scd with large ca- i 
pacitics and high transfer rates -im- 
provements made by using data com- ! 
pression. Because so many variables 
affect (lata compression, you may not be 
able to achieve these large advertised i 
performance capabilities as promised. 

Data compression is an added bene- 
fit, but it's not the total answer. Native 
capacity and transfer rate are also im- 

Grant Wilcox is in product marketing 
for Exabyte in Boulder, Colorado. 
You can contact him on BIX do 
"editors. " 

your database, and the intended use of 
the device (as a primary- or secondary- 
storage unit). Sequential access is slower 
and less convenient, but it is much less 

How much storage capacity is enough 
to meet your needs in a cost-effective 
manner? Having too much is no better 
than having too little because you will be 
saddled with expensive, underutilized 

storage equipment. 

To estimate your data-capacity re- 
quirements, consider the following ex- 
ample. Assume you have 20 users on a 
LAN. Allocate 40 MB for system and 
common-application files and 20 MB per 
user. Assume one 200-MB common da- 
tabase. Under this formula, the drive 
size required is 640 MB. However, the 
growth factor is also important, and you 

should factor in roughly twice a user's 
current needs for growth. The recom- 
mended drive size, then, exceeds 1 giga- 

Speed is another key performance 
consideration. Speed specifications in- 
clude the product's access time, measur- 
ing how fast it can locate data, and its 
transfer rate, measuring how fast it can 
move data from one place to another. 


MAY 1991 -BYTE aOS 



Table 3: The various secondary-storage (tape) technologies available provide 
a full spectrum of capabilities , from a capacity of 5 gigabytes for 8-mm helical 
scan to a data transfer rate of 600,000 bps for QIC. 



Transfer rate 

Form factor 


time for 
300 MB 


250 MB 


51/4" HH 


60 min. 

525 MB 


51/4" HH 


25 min. 

1.00 GB 


5V4" HH 


20 min. 

1.35 GB 


51/4" HH 


10 min. 

4-mm DAT 

2.00 GB 




30 min. 

helical scan 


2.50 GB 


5V4" FH 


21 min. 

helical scan 

5.00 GB 


51/4" FH 


12 min. 

HH-half height 
FH=full height 

Sometimes it's difficult to know how fast 
is fast enough. You must weigh the im- 
portance of speed against your other 
needs. A few milliseconds' worth of 
speed could come with an unacceptable 
price tag. 

It is also worth noting that the data- 
rate capability of a storage device is often 
not the limiting factor on a system's abil- 
ity to move data to and from the device. 
Average data transfer rates above 
300,000 bps for peripheral devices are 
unusual on today's PC systems, so a tape 
drive's data transfer rate of only 200,000 
bps is often the optimum solution. 

Compatibility of the mass-storage de- 
vice with the LAN operating systems and 
topologies in which it must operate is 
also important. Widely used LAN oper- 
ating systems include Novell's NetWare 
286/386 and Microsoft's MS-NET for 
IBM PC-compatible LAN environ- 
ments, and AppleTalk/AppleShare and 
A/UX from Apple and TOPS from Sun 
Microsystems for the Macintosh world. 

Topology refers to the physical layout 
of the components of a LAN— a bus to- 
pology connects all devices in one line; a 
ring topology connects each workstation 
to two other workstations in a circle. The 
topology that you employ can affect how 
the storage device will perform. With 
ring topologies, for example, the more 
PCs that are present, the slower the 
LAN, which can slow down data access 
and transfer times. 

You will also want to examine fault- 
tolerance features: Do you want or need 
duplicate systems for continuous storage 
operation in the event that one should 
fail? What data-integrity features does 
the product provide to prevent the acci- 
dental erasing or contamination of your 

Further Factors 

There are a number of other issues that 
you need to take into account before 
choosing a 1 -gigabyte-plus mass-storage 

Data security is the first of these 
issues. What happens if the drive or the 
medium is dropped? The ability of the 
device to withstand shock is very impor- 
tant. Is the device rugged and impervi- 
ous to the environment? Some mass-stor- 
age units are sensitive to magnetic fields 
and x-rays. You also need to find out the 
unit's operational range in terms of tem- 
perature and humidity. 

You should consider the projected lon- 
gevity (shelf life) of the storage medium 
and drive, and how long you intend to 
store the data on the device. The demand 
for WORM optical drives continues in 
spite of the arrival of rewritable optical 
ones because WORM technology pro- 
vides permanent storage that can't be 

The transportability of the medium 
and drive can be a key factor. Data-stor- 
age applications used in banks, insur- 
ance companies, government agencies, 
corporate records departments, and mul- 
tiple-site companies all require easily 
transportable storage equipment, some- 
times above all other considerations. 

Product quality is fundamental. This 
is basically a question of looking at the 
steps the manufacturer has taken to en- 
sure reliable performance. These steps 
include user troubleshooting and fault- 
isolation diagnostic routines, the warran- 
ty of the mass-storage unit, the availabil- 
ity of information from the manufacturer 
or supplier, and postsale support. 

Another critical issue is how well the 
device mixes and matches with other 
mass-storage devices that may already be 

in place in the computer system. Are the 
devices compatible with each other, and 
do their collective data capacities equal 
what you need? 

The growth potential of the respective 
technologies is also worth looking at in 
terms of selecting a solution that you will 
be able to live and grow with in the long 
term. QIC's relatively low data densities 
and large available tape area make up- 
ward migration to larger capacities an on- 
going evolutionary process. 

The very high data densities of DAT 
permit using a small cassette with a 
small available recording area, making 
upward migration more difficult. The 8- 
mm helical scan also has higher data 
density than QIC and a larger available 
record area than DAT. 

Current QIC densities are about 0.6 
MB per square inch, while 4-mm DAT is 
about 3.8 MB per square inch on a medi- 
um area of less than 25 percent of QIC. 
QIC has more room to grow. Table 3 
summarizes the current comparative sit- 
uation for backup-tape technologies. 

Hard disk technology appears to 
achieve higher data capacities almost 
monthly, while rewritable optical disk 
capacities are moving at a slower pace. 

Last but not least, there are the costs of 
the storage device and medium. The cost 
of a mass-storage subsystem varies great- 
ly, depending on the technology and 
manufacturer. However, cost increases 
with capacity. As important as cost is, it 
comes into perspective when you think 
about the possibility of losing your data 
due to a choice made on the basis of cost 

Narrowed Choices and Trade-Offs 

When you draw up your list of require- 
ments—How much capacity do you 
need? How much speed? What kinds of 
compatibility?— the choices of mass- 
storage systems narrow. There will be 
inevitable trade-offs involving price, 
functionality, and performance. A 
lower-cost unit will not display light- 
ning-quick throughput speed; you may 
not be able to easily move a very high ca- 
pacity system; or you may not be able to 
afford the most reliable system. 

Optimizing your PC data-storage ca- 
pabilities is a multistep process that in- 
volves many different considerations- 
taking particular care to plan for growth. 
Nothing is cost-effective if it does not 
provide what you need. ■ 

Richard A. Peters is vice president of 
marketing at Tandberg Data, Inc. (West- 
lake Village, CA). You can reach him on 
BIXc/o "editors. " 

206 BYTE 

MAY 1991 

Your Hard Disk. 

If you need more megabytes than your hard disk can swallow, 
don't buy a new drive. Stretch it with Stacker. 

Stacker is the fastest, most economical way to safely 
double your hard disk capacity. Without sacrificing DOS com- 
patibility It's the new standard in real-time data compression. 

And it's the only product of its 
kind available in both software 
and coprocessor versions. 

Stacker is fully compatible 
with Windows 3.0 and all your 
favorite disk utilities, too. Plus, 
Stacker includes a powerful disk 
caching program for added 

> Increase storage 100% 
■ Compatible with DOS 3.x, 4.x 

• Industry's fastest real-time 
data compression 

• Includes disk caching 

• Fastest, easiest installation 

• Toll-free technical support 

• 90-day money-back guarantee 

And when you add the Stacker coprocessor card you also 
get the fastest data compression in the business. 

No wonder there are already over a million satisfied users 
of Stac's compression technology. 

So call today and double your disk capacity tomorrow. You 
can purchase the Stacker software-only version — perfect 
for laptops— for only $149. Or get the entire Stacker high 
performance system with software and coprocessor card 
for just $229. 

Order today. Visa, MasterCard, American 
Express cards accepted. 

Or see your local computer/software dealer. 


© 1990 Stac Electronics. Carlsbad, CA 

Stacker is a trademark and Stac a registered trademark of Stac Electronius. 

Circle 284 on Inquiry Card (RESELLERS; 285). 

Northgate makes it safe to buy 
usmess computers direct. 

24-hour business hotline 
service for your 24-hour 
business. Many companies 
don't realize the importance of 
'round the clock technical support 
. . . until they need it. But, chances 
are, you or someone you know 
has had questions about computing 
after normal office hours. If you 
purchased your systems from one 
of our competitors, you probably had 
to wait to get help. Time-wasting. 
Inefficient. Costly 

Northgate treats you right! Across 
town or around the world, Northgate's 
business customers have a special 
hotline that gives immediate 24-hour 
access to Northgate's team of technical 
experts. Compare this with our 
competitors. Many have limited hours 
(like 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays; 
closed Sundays), some won't answer 
the phone during lunch hour and 
close up shop at night. While others 
offer litde or no support at all. 

Northgate's commitment to customer 
service and support caught the 
attention of the 1990 Microcomputer 
Marketing Council who selected 
Northgate as the first winner of the 
Association's Service and Support 
Award. When you buy from Northgate, 
rest assured we're here to serve you— 
in person— all day every day And 
the call's always on us. 

From our spectacular SUmLine 386SX 
to our our powerful Elegance 486™ 
file servers, Northgate backs them all 
with quality in every respect. 

Industry's highest performing 
systems. In an industry overflowing 
with companies all claiming top 
performance, only one company is 
consistently ahead of the pack: 
Northgate Since January of 1989 
when our first PC Magazine Editor's 

choice was awarded, our name has 
become synonymous with pace setting 
performance Seven Editors' Choice 
awards, eight Computer Shopper "Bc^i 
Buy" Awards and three InfoWorld 
recognitions are proof 

Quality systems through manufac- 
turing and testing. As a manufacturer, 
Northgate does not subscribe to the 
industry trend of taking shortcuts in 
technology to boost performance 
gains and keep prices down. Rather, 
we thoroughly test components for 
compatibility, performance and 
value In fact, if you were to order 
a hundred of our machines with ; 
the same configuration, every 
one would have the exact same ''"l" 
performance From hard drives 
all the way to our ALPS keyboard 
switches. And every stop in between. 
No "parts of the month" surprises 
or compatibility problems. We stake 
our reputation on it. 

Unparalleled compatibility with 
your current industry standard 
systems and software. One of our 
competitors recently announced 
they set up an "FCC Testing Lab." At 
Northgate, this is nothing new. For 
years, Northgate has gone the extra 
step to ensure that our systems are 
FCC Class B certified. And, we've 
invested hundreds of thousands of 
dollars to make sure our systems are 
compatible with MS-DOS, OS/2, 
Novellf Banyan, UNIX, SCO and other 
software It's no wonder why many 
major software developers use 
Northgate to design, develop and 
"debug" their new software 

Dollar for dollar, Northgate is your 
smartest business decision. No 
doubt you can pay less for computers. 
And you can certainly pay more. 
But you won't get the product, 
performance, service and support 

that has positioned Northgate as the 
new industry leader No matter what 
the price, you just 
can't buy better ...jbnfei ' ~ 
than Northgate - 

Free pre-purchase consultation. 

Nobody spends thousands of 
dollars on systems during the first 
phone call. You know it, we know 
it. Instead, we offer a no-obligation 
pre-purchase consultation with 
one of our highly-trained Technical 
Consultants. You won't get 
high-pressure tactics or 
commission-hungry salespeople 
Just friendly assistance in matching 
your business needs with the 
appropriate Northgate solution. 




Major corporations, volume purchasers and 
government agencies call Q(\(\ Ki,Q 
National Business Accounts: OUU'JTO'JjlU 

Notice to the hearing impaired: 

Northgate has TDD capabiUty. Dial 800-535-0602, 

-„, coMParm 
iy \-yJ •rsrmsjm 

"Smart Tools For Business'"" 

7075 Flying Cloud Drive, 
Eden Prairie, Minnesota 55344 

©CORTlght NoUhgslE Computer Sj^tems, Inc 1991. AH rights teser^^ NorthraK^ SlimUne, Hegance anil the Noithgate 'N- logo registered trademarks of Nnrthgrle Computer S>^tems. 80386 and 80-186 are trademarks of Intel All other products and brand names are trademarks 
and registered rrademarks of their respective campanlcs. We support the ethical use of softtt^rt To report software copyright violations, call the Softww Publishers Associadon's Anti-Piracy Hodinc at l-800-3B8-PiRa 

Circle 226 on Inquiry Card. 

Award-winning performance, unequakd 
service and incredible support for a price IBM 
Compaq'and Ddfcan'thope to match. 

he power of 386™ computing is the 
lifeblood of business today. And 
more and more, Northgate is the 
vendor of choice. Why? Northgate is the 
only company who consistently earns top 
ratings for performance, service, support 
and bottom-line value Industry experts 
and users worldwide agree 

Nordigate 386 . . . computing's most 
decorated line Northgate's rise to the 
pinnacle of 386 technology started in 1988 
when Computer Shopper readers voted 
Northgate's 386 Power System both a "Best 
Buy" and Overall Best Buy. A few months 
latei; PC Magazine named Northgate 386/20 
and 386/25 "Editors' Choice" Later that 
year, our 386/33 received the same honor 
Along the way, our 386 systems won several 
InfoWorld recognitions as well. 

Revolutionary systems of the 
90's: Northgate Slimline: 

often copied, never duplicated! It seems 
like everyone has jumped on the SlimLine 
bandwagon these days. Truth is, Northgate 
pioneered this incredible technology. We 
were the first to introduce Ml power 386 
systems in a case measuring only 4.25" high. 

Architecture that stunned the industry! 
SlimLine's fully-integrated motherboard 
features built-in IDE hard drive and floppy 
drive controllers, one parallel and two 
serial ports plus a 16-bit VGA controller 
And we didn't scrimp on expansion capabil- 
ities. Our unique expansion tree has three 
full-length 16-bit and two half-length 8-bit 
slots for all your add-ons and peripherals. 

Perfect single-user workstation or network 
terminal. ShmLine is ideal for use where 
you need full-size 386 power, but space is 
a premium. 

For comprehensive system features and 
popular configurations, see next page 

Northgate Elegance™ Full-size 
386 power and expandability. 

The business systems of choice Elegance's 
award-winning reputation has made them 
the choice of Fortune 1000 corporations, 
government agencies and universities 
around the world. And with good reason. 

Elegance full-size systems are designed to 
allow you to easily expand your system as 
your business needs increase You only pay 
for the components you need now. 

Power for every application. From "simple" 
tasks like word processing and desktop 
publishing to advanced CAD/ CAE and 
database management applications. Elegance 
delivers. To find out what systems are 
right for you, see next page for system 
configurations and upgrade options. 

Northgate wins 1990 Micro- 
computer Marketing Council's 
Service and Support Award! 

■ 30-day no-rislc trial period 

■ Full one year warranty on systems, 5 years on 
OmniKey keyboards. 

■ Northgate responds to your needs with 
overnight shipment of parts— at our expense! 

" Free on-site service to most locations for one 
year if we can't solve your needs over the phone 

■ Unique 24-hour toll-free technical support— 
the industry's best! 

■ We accept VISA, MasterCard, Discover and 
Northgate's Big 'N' card. We offer leasing and 
financing options, too! 

Free pre-purchase consultation. Nobody 
; spends thousands of dollars on systems 
' during the first phone call. You know it, we 

know it. Instead, we offer a no-obligation 
i pre-purchase consultation with one of 

our highly-trained Technical Consultants, 
i You won't get high-pressure tactics or 

commission-hungiy salespeople Just 

friendly assistance in matching your 

business needs with the appropriate 

Northgate solution. 




Fortune 1000 corporations, government agencies and nnn CAO 'JiSin 
eduadoninsdwtions, call National Business Accounts: oUU-JTO"JjiU 

Notice to tlie liearing impaired: Nortiigate lias TDD capability. Dial 800-335-0602. 


"Smart Tools For Business'"" 

7075 Flying Cloud Drive, 
Eden Prairie, Minnesota 55344 

*PCMaga!ine. September 25, 1990 

Circle 227 on Inquiry Card. 

MAY 1991 •BYTE 211 

Only Nortngate otters a tutl range ot 386 " system 
in SlimLine; Desltfoa and Vertical Power Cases 

Slimline ... a Northgate original! 

SlimLine Features: 

■ Small footprint (16.5" square x 
4.25" high) SlimLine case with 
room for two exposed and one 
internal half-height devices 

■ Intel® and Weitek math 
coprocessor support 

•= 150 watt power supply 
= Clock calendar chip rated 
at 5 years 

■ Front mounted reset and 
high/low speed controls 

=> MS-DOS 4.01 and GW-BASIC 

■ On-line user's guide to 
MS-DOS 4.01 

■ QA Plus Diagnostic and 
utility software 

" FCC Class B certified 

SlimLine 386SX/16 and 20 MHz with 64K Cache 

• Intel 80386SX/16 or 20 MHz 

' 2Mb of RAM on motherboard 
' 40Mb hard drive 

■ 64K SRAM read/write-back cache 

■ 1.2Mb and 1.44Mb floppy drives 

■ 14" VGA color monitor 
" OmniKey® keyboard 

Or as low as ^75°° /^SO"" per month* 

SlimLine 386/25 MHz with 64K Cache 

' Intel 80386/25 MHz processor 
' 4Mb of RAM on motherboard 
> 100Mb hard drive 
I 64K SRAM read/ write-back cache 

' 1.2Mb and 1.44Mb floppy drives 
' 14" VGA color monitor 
' OmniKey keyboard 



Or as low as ^lOS"" per month* 

SlimLine 386/33 MHz with 64K Cache 

Exclusive! Now, the revoludonary Edsun CFG chip is available with ShmLine 
386/33. This device emulates up to 2048 x 2048 resolution and lets your 
standard VGA monitor display an incredible 750,000 colors. Plus, it smooths 
out the jagged edges around images giving you clarity and brilliance you 
must see to believe! Call for pricing. 

> Intel 80386/33 MHz processor 
■ 4Mb of RAM on motherboard 
' 200Mb hard drive 
' 64K SRAM read/write-back cache 

" 1.2Mb and 1.44Mb floppy drives 
■ 14" VGA color monitor 
" OmniKey keyboard 


Or as low as ^120°" per month* 

Editors' Choice-all Elegance " systems 

Elegance Features: 

■ 5-bay desktop case with 
room for 3 exposed and 

2 internal half-height devices 
with 200 watt power supply. 

■ Optional 7-bay vertical 
power case has 220W power 

■ RAM expansion up to 8Mb on 
motherboard (16Mb total RAM 
with 32-bit memory card) 
16-bit VGA video adaptor 

■ One parallel and two serial 

■ MS-DOS 4.01 and GW-BASIC 

" FCC Class B and Novell 

Northgate Elegance 386/25 

■ Intel 80386/25 MHz processor 
4Mb of RAM 

1 100Mb hard drive 

■ 64K SRAM read/ write-back cache 

■ 1.44Mb and 1.2Mb floppy drives 

" 16-bit VGA Adaptor 

■ Desktop case 

■ 14" VGA color monitor 

■ OmniKey keyboard 

■ Microsoft Windows and mouse 


Or as low as ^115"° per month* 

Northgate Elegance 386/33 

■ Intel 80386/33 MHz processor 
■4Mb of RAM 

■ 200Mb hard drive 

■ 64K SRAM read/write-back cache 

■ 1.44Mb and 1.2Mb floppy drives 

• 16-bit VGA adaptor 

• Vertical power case 
' 14" VGA color monitor 
> OmniKey keyboard 
■ Microsoft Windows and mouse 

Or as low as *140'"' per month* 

If one of these popular SlimLine or Elegance models doesn't meet 
your needs, CALL! We'll custom build one just for you! 







Major corpmations, volume purcliasers and "Smart Tools For Business" 

government agencies call 548 3510 

National Business Accounts: 
Notice to the hearing impaired: Northgate lias 
TDD capability. Dial 800-535-0602. 

7075 Flying Cloud Drive, 
Eden Prairie, Minnesota 55344 

€Cop)-tlghl NoithgalE Computer Sj^tems, Inc. 1991. All ilKhls rcsei\-ed. Northffilc. OmnlKcy, Elc^ncc and ihc Nonhgate 'N' k 
oflheir respective companies Prices and specifications suSject to cliange ssilliout notice Noith^te teseivesthe ilghltosubstit 
Softstare Pubilsheis Association's Anti-Pinaq' Hotline at: l-H00-3fi8-PIRa -Wlicn chatted to your Northgate Dij; N" card; IH'l. 

red tradcmarb of Nonhgitc Compatcr Systems eOddd and B04S6 are trademarks otlntcl All other products and brand names are tiademaiks and registered tiademarks 
nts olequal or greater tiuaiity Of performance All Items snhjecl to as-ailabilily We support the elhical use ofsortss-ate. To report sofmnrecopjTight violations, call ihe 

Circle 228 on Inquiry Card. 


Massive Mass Storage 

For ml mass storage, be prepared to drop a couple of hundred thousand dimes in the jui{ebox. Jukeboxes (also called autiKhanucrs) 
provide unprecedented on-line storage for PC, workstation, and LAN users. They range in capacity from a few tens of gigabytes to over a terabyti 
and they are available in CD-ROM, WORM (write once, read many times), rewritable optical, and tape-based configurations. 
Listed below are some manufacturers of jukebox mass-storage systems. 

Advanced Graphics 

Applications, Inc. 

90 Fifth Ave. 

New York, NY 10011 

(212) 337-4200 

Circle 1 060 on Inquiry Card. 

Alphatronix, Inc. 

2300 Englert Dr., Suite C 
Research Triangle Park, NC 

(919) 544-0001 

fax: (919)544-4079 

Circle 1061 on Inquiry Card. 

Aquidneck Systems 

International, Inc. 

650 Ten Rod Rd. 

North Kingstown, RI 02852 

(401) 295-2691 

fax; (401)295-1851 

Circle 1 255 on Inquiry Card . 


100 Southgate Pkwy. 

Morristown, NJ 07960 


(201) 898-8000 

Circle 1062 on Inquiry Card. 

Bell & Howell Document 

Management Products Co. 

6800 McCormick Rd. 

Chicago, IL 60645 

(708) 675-7600 

fax: (708)675-9271 

Circle 1 063 on Inquiry Card . 

Control Data Corp. 

P.O. BoxO 

Minneapolis, MN 55440 
(612) 853-8100 
fax: (612) 853-5300 
Circle 1064 on Inquiry Card. 

Cygnet Systems, Inc. 

2560 Junctions Ave. 

San Jose, CA 95134 

(408) 954-1800 

fax: (408) 954-9391 

Circle 1065 on Inquiry Card. 

Delta Microsystems, Inc. 

5039 Preston Ave. 

Livermore, CA 94550 


fax: (415) 449-6885 

Circle 1 066 on Inquiry Card . 

Digital Equipment Corp. 

146 Main St. 

Maynard, MA 01754 

(508) 493-5111 

fax: (508) 493-8780 

Circle 1067 on Inquiry Card. 

Dilog Corp. 

1555 South Sinclair St. 
Anaheim, CA 92806 
(714) 937-5700 
fax: (714) 978-2420 
Circle 1068 on Inquiry Card. 

Epoch Systems 

8 Technology Dr. 

Westborough, MA 01581 

(508) 836-4300 

fax: (508) 836-3802 

Circle 1 069 on Inquiry Card. 

Exabyte Corp. 

1685 38th St. 

Boulder, CO 80301 

(303) 442-4333 

fax: (303) 442-4269 

Circle 1 070 on Inquiry Card. 

FileNet Corp. 

3565 Harbor Blvd. 

Costa Mesa, CA 92626 



Circle 1071 on Inquiry Card. 

Hewlett-Packard Co., Inc. 

Disk Storage Systems Division 

11413 Chindin Blvd. 

Boise, ID 83714 

(208) 323-3290 

fax: (208) 323-3991 

Circle 1 072 on Inquiry Card. 

Hitachi America, Ltd. 

Computer Division 

Peripherals & Systems 

Marketing, MS:500 

Hitachi Plaza 

2000 Sierra Point Pkwy. 

Brisbane, CA 94005 

(800) 283-4080, ext. 877 

(415) 589-8300 

Circle 1073 on Inquiry Card. 

Laser Magnetic Storage 

International Co. 

4425 Arrows West Dr. 

Colorado Springs, CO 80907 

(800) 777-5674 

(719) 593-7900 

Circle 1 256 on Inquiry Card. 

Literal Corp. 

2180 Executive Cir. 
Colorado Springs, CO 80906 
(719) 579-0460 
fax: (719) 579-0450 
Circle 1074 on Inquiry Card. 

Meraorex Telex Corp. 

6422 East 41st St. 

Tulsa, OK 74135 

(800) 950-3465 



Circle 1 257 on Inquiry Card. 

Micro Design International, 

6985 University Blvd. 
Winter Park, FL 32792 
(800) 228-0891 

(407) 677-8333 
fax: (407) 677-8365 

Circle 1258 on Inquiry Card. 

Micro Technology, Inc. 
5065 East Hunter St. 
Anaheim, CA 92807 
(714) 970-0300 
fax: (714) 970-5743 
Circle 1259 on Inquiry Card. 


297 North Bernard Ave. 
Mountain View. CA 94043 
(415) 961-1800 
fax: (415) 961-8913 
Circle 1 260 on Inquiry Card. 

Pinnacle Micro, Inc. 

15265 Alton Pkwv. 

Irvine, CA92718 

(800) 553-7070 

(714) 727-3300 

fax: (714)727-1913 

Circle 1261 on inquiry Card. 

Pioneer Comniniiication.s 

600 East CresL-cnt Ave. 

Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458 

(201) 327-6400 

fax: (201) 327-9379 

Circle 1 262 on Inquiry Card. 

Reflection Systems, Inc. 

P.O. Box 61 1608 
San Jose, CA 95161 

(408) 432-0943 
fax: (408) 432-0843 

Circle 1 263 on Inquiry Card. 

Ricoh Corp.- 

Sales Office 

3567 Parkway Lane, 

Suite 150 

Norcross, OA 30092 
(404) 446-3533 
fax: (404)447-4102 
Circle 1 264 on Inquiry Card. 

Sony Corp. of America 

Peripheral SyMciiis Co. 
Sony Dr. 

Park Ridge, NJ 07656 


fax: (201)573-8608 

Circle 1265 on Inquiry Card. 

Storage Diinen.sions, Inc. 

2145 Hamilton Ave. 

SanJoso.CA 95125 

(408) 879-0300 

fax: (408) 879-3397 

Circle 1 266 on Inquiry Card. 

Storage Technology Corp. 

2270 South 88lh St. 

Loui.sville. CO 80028 


lax: (303)673-5019 

Circle 1 267 on Inquiry Card. 

Suninius Computer Systems 

17171 Park Row. .Suite .300 

Houston. TX 77084 


fax: (713)492-0092 

Circle 1268 on Inquiry Card. 

Trimurchi, Inc. 

P.O. Box 560 

State College. PA 16804 

(814) 3.5.3-9120 

Circle 1 269 on Inquiry Card. 

Wang Lalioratories, Inc. 

One industrial Ave. 

Lowell, MA 01851 

(508) 459-5000 

Circle 1270 on Inquiry Card. 

liiclusitm ill llie rcsi/unr niiUle 
should not be taken ax a UYTE 
endorsement or recommenda- 
tion. Lilceiyise, omission from the 
guide should not be taken 
negatively. The information here 
was believed to be accimiir at 
the time of writing, but BYTE 
cannot he responsible for 
omissions, errors, or changes 
that occur after compilation. 

MAY 1991 • BYTE 213 

Number One! Elegance" 
486/25 & 33 MHz ISA 

InfoWorld's Product of 
the Year! After outscoring 
the competition in 
InfoWorld's 1990 reviews, 
and being praised 
as "tops in support 
and value,"t Elegance 
486/25i was awarded the publication's 
highest honor: Product of the Year 
This was the fourth award given to an 
Elegance 486 system ... no other 
company comes close! 




PC Magazine says 
"Editors' Choice!" When 
reviewing 486/25 
systems, they said 
"Only one machine 
stands out . . . you 
could pay less for a 486 
system, but not get the 
bonuses that are offered 
with the Elegance"tt 
In the February 12, 1991 issue, PC 
Magazine declared Elegance 486/33 
Editors' Choice, saying the system was 
"a sure winner in its class." 


Elegince 486/251, SepL 11,1990 
Elegame486/331,Fefi 12,1991 

Computer Shopper 
readers agree! Elegance 
486/251 breezed past the 
competition and captured 
a 1990 "Best Buy" award. 
This makes three years 
in a row, a Northgate 
Elegance system was voted 

tops by Computer Shopper readers. 

ISA 486 System Features: 

♦ Intel 486/25 or 33 MHz processor 

♦ 4Mb RAM; expandable to 8Mb on 

♦ 200Mb IDE hard drive 

♦ 1.2Mb and 1.44Mb floppy drives 

♦ 64K SRAM read/write-back cache 

♦ ISA bus 

♦ One 32-bit, six 16-bit and one 8-bit slots 

♦ One parallel and two serial ports 

*> Vertical "Power" case (desktop available) 

♦ 16-bit VGA graphics adaptor with 
512K video RAM (expandable to 1Mb) 

♦ 14" SVGA color monitor 

■* OmniKey'^/VURA keyboard 

♦ MS-DOS 4.01 or 3.3 and GW-BASIC 
software installed 

•» Microsoft® Windows™ 3.0 and mouse 

♦ FCC Class B Cerdfled 

33 MHz 

486 EISA gives you full 
32-bit performance! 

Performance that rivals RISC-based 
minicomputers costing thousands 
more! New 32-bit EISA bus gives you 
the power to transfer data along your 
network at burst mode speeds up to 33 
megabytes per second. That's a 15-fold 
improvement over 16-bit AT buses 
serving medium-to-large networks. 

Complete compatibility! Elegance 
486e is 100% compatible with UNIX, 
Novell® and DOS. Plus, Elegance is 
compatible with existing 8-bit and 
16-bit ISA adapters, so you benefit 
firom downward compatibility 

Compare Elegance 486e performance 
and Northgate service and support 
with any other vendor's in the indus- 
try You'll find you can't buy better 
than Northgate! Call now ... let 
Northgate build your system today! 

True EISA 486 System Features: 

* Intel 486/25 or 33 MHz processor 

* 4Mb RAM; expandable to 32Mb on 

* 1Mb EISA caching SCSI controller 

* 200Mb SCSI hard disk 

* 1.2Mb and 1.44Mb floppy drives 

* 128K SRAM read/write-back cache 

* EISA bus 

* Eight 32-bit EISA slots; six bus master 
and two slave 

* One parallel and two serial ports 

* 16-bit VGA graphics adaptor with 
512K video RAM (expandable to 1Mb) 

* 14" SVGA monochrome monitor 
t Vertical "Power" case 

* 300 watt power supply 

* OjnniKe77ULTRA keyboard 

* MS-DOS 4.01 or 3.3 and GW-BASlC 
software installed 

* Microsoft mouse 

* 25 MHz FCC Class B Certified 
(33 MHz FCC Class A) 

33 MHz 

Northgate wins 1990 
Microcomputer Marketing 
Council's Service and 
Support Award! 

♦ 30 Day No-Risk Trial. To assure your 
complete satisfaction, Northgate gives 
you a 30-day No-Risk Trial. 

♦ Full parts and labor warranties: 

1 year on systems; 5 years on 
OiurJiKe/ keyboards. 

♦ Overnight shipment of replacement 
parts when needed — at our expense 

♦ Northgate's unique 24-hour 
toll-free technical support leads 
the industry — most needs are 
met vnth just one call! 

<• Free on-site service to most locations 
if we can't meet your technical 
needs over the phone 

♦ Easy financing: Use your Northgate 
Big 'N' VISA, MasterCard or Discover 
Card. Leasing terms up to five years 
also available 

Free Pre-purchase Consultation 

Nobody spends thousands of 
dollars on systems during the 
first phone call. You know it, 
we know it. Instead, we offer a 
no-obligation pre-purchase 
consultation with one of our 
highly-trained Technical 
Consultants. You'll receive 
friendly assistance in matching 
your business needs with the 
appropriate Northgate solution. 




Fortune 1000 corporations, government 
agencies and education institutions call 

rzr^"^^^ 800-548-3510 

Notice to the hearing impaired: Northgate 
has TDD capability Dial 800-535-0602. 

• wMPijrm 

"Smart Tools For Business"™ 

7075 Flying Cloud Drive, Eden Prairie, Minnesota 55344 

gCDRTighi ^orthgaleCompuIe^Splems. Inc. 1991, All rights men-cd. Northgate, OmnttVa^ ■N' logo are reglsieied trademarks of Norihgate Computer S)-3tems. 80486 Is i trademark of Intel IBM is a registered trademark otlntcmaiional Business Machines Corp All oihet products 

br^ndnatnesarE trademarks and registered trademarks oflheir respective companies. We support the ethical use of sofmre. To report sotw-arecopi-riEhtriolatioas, call the Soft^-aie Publishers Association's Anti-Piracy Hotline at l-aoO-388-PIRfl. 
f;rjfoWbr/d,July30,1990 ft pCAfc^z/ne.Septemberll, 1990 '^'^ r- n s- 

Circle 229 on Inquiry Card. 

MAY 1991 • BYTE 215 


486 EISA: 


The new systems are fast, 
but a few problems 
make us wonder If EISA 
has really arrived 


hen it comes to heroes, we like 
the underdog, but when it comes 
' to our workstations, we want 
f f nothing less than pure, unadul- 
terated power. We want our disks to 
scream and our video to sparkle. We want 
to do whatever the job requires without 
running into frustrating hardware con- 
straints. We want to sense the power rum- 
bling beneath our fingertips. 

This month the BYTE Lab looks at the 
up-and-coming standard in high-end sys- 
tems: the powerful combination of Intel's 33-MHz i486 and the 32-bit EISA bus. 
These new machines beg for more than casual applications. System vendors pitch 
them as file servers, multiuser Unix hosts, and high-performance workstations 
(see the text box "EISA and i486: Workstation Class?" on page 220). 

We didn't optimize these systems for any one application, however. Instead, 
we asked vendors for a general-purpose configuration that included 4 megabytes 
of system RAM, a VGA or better graphics subsystem and monitor, a 300-MB 
hard disk drive, and a 150-MB tape backup unit. Surprisingly, vendors didn't 
always supply EISA components with their systems (see the features summary 
table on pages 218 and 219). 

The lure of buying the latest and greatest technology can be irresistible, but if 
you don't look beyond the glitz, you're likely to make a bad decision. You'll end 
up with more power than you need or, worse, with an expensive, immature prod- 
uct. When we began testing these machines, we had our usual object in mind: to 
pick the best of the bunch. But after getting our hands dirty, we started to ques- 
tion whether the EISA market has really arrived. 

The Promise of EISA 

The i486 processor, with its built-in FPU and 8K-byte cache, is fantastically fast, 
but the 16-bit ISA bus and its slow attendant peripherals drag down the perfor- 
mance of i486 systems. The i486 promises improvements over the 386 (see the 
text box "i486— Evolution, Not Revolution" on page 228), and EISA promises 

V I 

y. j.. 
U I 

} 1 

I r 
1 I 

J ; 

> f ■ 


7 ; 

f ' I ' 
/ f 



216 BYTE' MAY 1991 



These high-end systems deliver 
unprecedented speed. EISA 
technology promises still greater 
performance when EISA 
peripherals become more widely 


EISA systems still experience the 
configuration and reliability 
problems associated with 
developing technology. 

Currently, the best mix of price, 
performance, and ease of 
operation are in the midrange 
systems. Machines from Dell, Zees, 
and Acma stand out. If you don't 
need a system right way, consider 
holding off on buying until EISA 
peripherals become more plentiful 
and more stable. In another six 
months, vendors should have 
ironed out many of the wrinkles 
with current add-in boards, and 
many new boards should be 

peripherals that can supply data as fast as 
the processor can handle it. EISA's 32- 
bit bus is twice as wide as the ISA bus, 
making it capable of delivering twice 
the data. EISA can also handle multiple 
bus masters, which may dramatically 
improve the throughput of I/O-bound 
tasks. Finally, EISA's software-based 
board configuration should make 
board installations easier. (For an in- 
depth look at EISA, see "Inside 
EISA," November 1989 BYTE.) 

EISA's greater bandwidth makes it 
ideal for networks and multiuser en- 
vironments, which require fast ac- 
j cess to system peripherals. However, 
i EIS.A peripherals have been slow in 
coming. Most EISA devices intro- 
duced to date have been disk drive 
controllers (included in most of our 
lest machines) and network inter- 
luce cards. Other EISA periph- 
erals, such as video controllers, 
. aren't readily available, 
i Software-based configuration 
j means that you use a vendor-sup- 
plied EISA setup disk to add pe- 
ripherals or to modify the configuration 
o( any of the boards. You can set the pa- 
rameters of each EISA device from the 
EISA setup utility, choosing IRQ num- 
bers, ROM addresses, and other settings 

MAY 1991 • BYTE 217 



Price and performance varied widely among these systems, but most manufacturers assembled systems from a common 
pool of components. Machines with similar disk drive controllers and amounts of disk drive cache often turned in similar 
benchmark results (N/A = not applicable). 



Size (Inches) 


Ofl-chip cache 

Size Min./max. 


Acma 486/33 





64/256 KB 

posted writes 







7.25 x 24x18.5 

49 MB 


64 KB' 

write through 





American Mitac4280G 



64 MB 


64/256 KB 

write back 











write back 





Blue Star 486/33E 



64 MB 

256 KB 

0/256 KB 

Direct-mapped/ AIR/Phoenix 
write through 




CCS 486-330 






write through 





Compaq Oeskpro486/33L 



100 MB 



write through 











write through 





Dyna Micro Work Master 486 




256 KB 

0/256 KB 

Direct-mapped/ AIR/Phoenix 
write through 




Lucky 486/33E 


21.25 x 6.25x16.5 


64 KB 

64/266 KB 

write back 





Micro Express ME 486 






4-way associative/ 
write through 








96 MB 


64/256 KB 

write back 





PC Craft 2304/33D 





64/256 KB 

posted writes 







21.25 x 6.26x16.5 



0/256 KB 

Direct-mapped/ AIR/Phoenix 
write through 




TandonDT 486/33 




64 KB 

64 KB 

posted writes 





Tangent 486/33 






write back 





Touche 5550T 



96 MB 


64/256 KB 

write back 











write back 





Portable System: 

Bitwise 433EA/P 














' Price includes 4 MB of system memory, VGA or Super VGA graphics with monitor, hard disk 
drive of about 300 MB, 150-MB tape backup unit, parallel port, and 101-key Enhanced keyboard. 

2 Minimum supported configuration. 

3 Other models are available with additional cache. 
* Pixels X pixels x colors. 

5 System tested and priced with 5 MB; 4-MB configuration not available. 

8 System also has additional IDE interface. 

' Syistem also Includes VGA built into motherboard. 

« Price does not include tape backup system (not available from vendor), 

9 Portable system without external monitor and with 200-MB hard disk drive. 
'" Resolutions above standard VGA require external monitor. 

that usually require DIP switches or 
jumper blocks. 

Unfortunately, EISA subsystems and 
supporting software are still quite new, 
and most aren't totally wrinkle-free. A 
few systems presented inaccurate EISA 
configuration information; with others, 
reconfiguring an option produced some 
odd side effects. For example, LapLink 
couldn't find the parallel port on the 
Blue Star system's motherboard even 
though the EISA configuration software 
showed the port as enabled. We fixed the 
problem by disabling and then reenabling 
the port through software. On every sys- 

tem, running the configuration utility 
was unbearably time-consuming, mak- 
ing the prospect of opening the system 
and fiddling with DIP switches more 

Common Threads 

Given the newness of EISA technology, 
it's not surprising that many of these sys- 
tems share many of the same compo- 
nents. Three EISA motherboards and 
two EISA disk drive controllers form the 
core hardware for many of these ma- 
chines. None offers an EISA video con- 
troller, but many include fast 16-bit 

ROM EISA/ISA Hard Capacity Avg. seek 
BIOS slots disk drive (MB) tlme(ms) 



Super VGA controllers. Since similar 
components mean similar features, we'll 
discuss some of the more popular compo- 
nents here. 

The most popular motherboard among 
our test systems was Advanced Integra- 
tion Research's 486EL, which uses In- 
tel's EISA chip set. It supports an i486 at 
25 or 33 MHz, with up to a 256K-byte 
static RAM (SRAM) cache and a socket 
for a Weitek WTL4167 math copro- 
cessor. The motherboard's 16 single in- 
line memory module sockets accept up to 
64 MB of on-board memory when loaded 
with 4-MB SIMMs. The AIR board has 

21S B YTE • MAY 1991 



Interface Disk drive 

Disk drive 


Disk Serial 
drive ports 

Other Video Video Maximum Power Distribution Warranty On-site 

ports controller' RAM resolution* supply channel (years) service 





1.2 MB/ 





1 MB 




1 year 

1.44 MB 


ProDesigner II 




Western Digilal 


1.2 MB 





256 KB 

800 x 600 







1.2 MB 









1 year 




1.2 MB/ 


2 9-pin 



256 KB 

800 X 600 


1 year 

1.44 MB 

2nd parallel 







1.2 MB/ 




Diamond Computer 

1 MB 

10?4 Y 7fifl 



1.44 MB 







1 MB 

1.2 MB/ 


2 9-pin 

2nd parallel 

Diamond Computer 

1 MB 

1024 X 768 





1.44 MB 







1.2 MB/ 





1 MB 






1.44 MB 




UllraStor 12F6 


1.44 MB 


2 9- pin 






Mail order, 

1 year 






1.2 MB/ 





1 MB 





1.44 MB 

ProDesigner 11 




UllraStor 22C 


1.2 MB 




STB Systems 




Mail order, 








1.2 MB/ 




Micro Express 

1 MB 






1.44 MB 


Extended VGA 




UllraStor 22C 


1.2 MB/ 











1.44 MB 


HIRes 1024 




UllraStor 22C 


1.2 MB 









1 year 







Data Technology 


1.2 MB 




Diamond Computer 












1.2 MB 









1 year 



ProDesigner II 






1.2 MB 









1 year 



ProDesigner II 




UllraStor 22C 


1.2 MB/ 



2nd parallel 


1 MB 





1.44 MB 

ProDesigner II 






1.2 MB/ 




Diamond Compuler 

1 MB 






1.44 MB 








1.2 MB/ 
1.44 MB 

2 25-pin None 

Ahead Systems 512KB 1024x768 
VGAVWzard x16'» 



eight EISA slots, six of which support 
EISA bus-master devices. Systems that 
are equipped with the AIR motherboard 
tended to fare worse than other systems 
on our CPU benchmarks. 

Mylex's MAE486 motherboard also 
supports the i486 at 25 or 33 MHz and 
includes a Weitek coprocessor socket. Its 
external processor cache can hold up to 
I28K bytes of SRAM, and its eight 
SIMM sockets hold up to 32 MB of sys- 
tem RAM. All eight EISA slots on the 
MAE486 can handle bus-master devices. 

The American Megatrends, Inc., En- 
terprise motherboard holds up to 96 MB 

of memory: 32 MB in the board's eight 
SIMM sockets and 64 MB on a propri- 
etary 32-bit expansion board. AMI of- 
fers a 64K- or 256K-byte external pro- 
cessor cache and includes a Weitek 
socket, seven EISA bus expansion slots, 
and an 8-bit slot. The proprietary mem- 
ory board occupies one of the mother- 
board's EISA slots. 

Regardless of motherboard, all but one 
of the systems supported video BIOS and 
system BIOS shadowing. The sole excep- 
tion was Dell's 433TE, which shadows 
video BIOS only. We found that, for most 
applications, video BIOS shadowing im- 

proves performance more significantly 
than system BIOS shadowing. 

Since even the fastest hard disk drives 
can't supply data fast enough to take ad- 
vantage of the EISA bus, all EISA hard 
disk drive controllers use a cache. Eight 
machines used UltraStor's Ultra 22C 
caching ESDI controller; six went with 
Mylex's DCE-376 caching SCSI control- 
ler. Most vendors used Seagate or Max- 
tor hard disk drives with average seek 
times in the 14- to 17-millisecond range. 

We asked system vendors that supplied 
caching disk drive controllers to include 
the minimum amount of cache RAM 

MAY 1991 • BYTE 219 

EISA and i486: Workstation Class? 

Hardly a month passes that we 
don't see the introduction of a 
new system or system compo- 
nent that promises to further 
blur the distinction between PCs, work- 
stations, and minicomputers. The i486 
microprocessor and industry support 
for the 32-bit EISA bus are two signifi- 
cant developments pushing PCs across 
the fuzzy line onto workstation turf. 
But despite these advances, the current- 
ly available i486 systems don't quite 
measure up to the RISC-based Unix 

The 33-MHz i486 is a top-notch mi- 
croprocessor. Innovative caching 
schemes have further enhanced the i486 
PC so that, in terms of raw integer per- 
formance measures like Dhrystones, it 
almost holds its own with a 25-MHz 
SPARC processor and gives the power- 

ful 20-MHz MIPS R3000 chip set a run 
for its money (see the table below). Even 
without a Weitek WTL4167 FPU, the 
i486 is more than a match for the 25- 
MHz SPARC in floating-point opera- 
tions, although it pales beside faster 
SPARCs and other RISC processors. 
RISC-based workstations now sell in 
the $10,000 to $20,000 range and thus 
directly compete with high-end i486 

The critical issues that separate the 
workstations from PCs have less to do 
with raw performance and more to do 
with compatibility and ease of integra- 
tion. SPARC -based workstations cur- 
rently enjoy two significant advantages 
over i486 PCs: cleaner hardware and 
more Unix software. 

Expansion boards designed for Sun's 
SBus work right out of the box; many 

EISA devices that we've seen don't. 
Most problems revolve around resource 
conflicts that manufacturers will likely 
fix with firmware revisions. But for the 
moment, SPARC workstations have 
more stable and easier-to-maintain 

But the biggest hurdle that 486 PCs 
must overcome to compete with SPARC 
workstations is the lack of portability 
between PC implementations of Unix. 
Currently, PC Unix software develop- 
ers must choose sides and decide which 
variation of Unix to support. Hardware 
companies have to develop drivers for 
multiple versions of Unix. Both are se- 
verely hampered by the lack of binary 
compatibility from system to system. 
SPARC developers, because of cross- 
SPARC binary compatibility, have only 
a single architecture to target. It's not 
surprising, therefore, that the range of 
Unix applications for SPARC worksta- 
tions is broader than that for i486 PCs. 

The operating-system problems and 
the subsequent software gap show signs 
of closing, however. The latest version 
of Unix, System V release 4, promises a 
much deeper level of binary compatibil- 
ity across versions of Unix supplied by 
different vendors. Release 4, which you 
should see by the end of this year, may 
finally boost high-end PCs into the 
workstation arena. 


BYTE Unix benchmark indexes for machines that use i486, SPARC, and 
MIPS CPUs. The i486 holds an edge over the SPARC in floating-point 
operations hut lags in raw integer performance (Dhrystones). 

Dhrystone Floating-point 

33-MHz i486 1.3 2.6 

25-MHz SPARC 1.5 2,2 

20-MHz MIPS R3000 1.7 6.2 

offered in a standard system configura- 
tion. Each system that used the UltraStor 
card included a 512K-byte cache; ven- 
dors that included the Mylex DCE-376 
maintain minimum configurations rang- 
ing from 1 to 4 MB. The Ultra 22C ac- 
cepts up to 3 MB of cache RAM by way 
of an add-in card. The DCE-376 holds 16 
MB of cache RAM. 

Both the Ultra 22C and the DCE-376 
are EISA bus-master controllers, and 
both are outstanding performers. The 
boards with more cache memory proved 
faster; the cache configuration you spec- 
ify to the system vendor will be the most 
important factor in determining the over- 
all performance of your disk subsystem. 

These boards are both in a state of 
early release, and drivers and firmware 
are evolving quite rapidly. We encoun- 

tered several EISA configuration prob- 
lems with the boards in our test ma- 
chines. More significant, bus-master 
activity conflicts with memory managers 
such as 386Max or QEMM386 unless 
both bus-master card and memory man- 
ager adhere to the Virtual DMA Services 
(VDS) specification. Vendors had just 
begun to release drivers that implement 
VDS as we began testing; we conducted 
our evaluations using these early drivers. 

With no EISA video controller boards 
available, vendors are relying on fast 16- 
bit Super VGA boards, .such as Orchid's 
ProDesigner II and Diamond Computer 
Systems' SpeedStar VGA. With 1 MB of 
video RAM (VRAM), both boards can 
display graphics at a resolution of 1024 
by 768 pixels in 256 colors. Both cards 
are based on the Tseng Labs VGA chip. 

EISA Roundup 

We tested eighteen 33-MHz i486 EISA 
systems in both desktop and tower con- 
figurations. We also tested what may be 
the first i486 EISA portable computer 
(see the text box "Bitwise 433E/VP Por- 
table" on page 230). Some of the i486 
systems we tested are high-end models 
sold exclusively through resellers and 
dealers. Others are assembled from com- 
mon off-the-shelf components and are 
available directly from the manufac- 
turer. Performance differs widely within 
their ranks, but every one of these sys- 
tems is an outstanding performer relative 
to the last generation of 386 and 486 

We rated the machines on their perfor- 
mance, price, and difficulty of setup and 
configuration. To measure the system 

220 BYTE • MAY 1991 

Windows 3.0 is a great step forward. 
It just doesn't go far enougli. You 
still have to overcome barriers 
you thought you'd left behind. 
Such as DOS. The complexities of 
ffle management and application 
integration. And working in two 

The solution? Simply add HP 
NewWave. In this one simple step, 
you turn your PC into the most 
powerful, easiest-to-use informa- 
tion tool in business. Tb prove it, 
we've put an eye-opening, inter- 
active demonstration on disk. 

It shows how NewWave's simple 
object model lets you work on one 

•l.'.n * 

desktop cu 

vironment, instead of lia\ lug 
to use both the Program and File 
Managers. You don't have to under- 
stand the DOS file system at all. 
And it works with the Windows 
applications you already have. 

Integrating NewWave applications 
is astoundingly simple. Just drag 
and drop. "Drill down" editing lets 
you make changes in part of a 
document, such as a chart, without 
leaving it. And with "hot linksj' 
your data changes automatically 
in all connected files. 

Circle 1 44 on Inquiry Card . 

Tb evaluate 

NewWave, caU (408) 376-2727 
for your interactive demonstra- 
tion disk. (Handling charge $3.95.) 
Then experience one of the most 
dramatic breakthroughs ever 
brought to your screen. 




HP NewWave requires Windows 3.0 nnd an Intel 28fi or 388 based PC with 640 Kb base and 2Mb extended memorj; Windows 3.0 is a product of Slicrosoft Corporation. C 1091 Hewlett-Packatri Comptuiy NSSOdlfi 

performance, we used BYTE's low-level 
benchmarks, DOS application bench- 
marks, and Unix system benchmarks 
(see the figures on pages 224 and 225). 
The low-level tests isolate specific per- 
formance areas, such as CPU and mem- 
ory or the graphics subsystem. The DOS 
application benchmarks give a compre- 
hensive overview of system performance 
under DOS for seven different catego- 
ries: word processing, desktop publish- 
ing, database, compilers, CAD, scientif- 
ic/engineeering, and spreadsheet. Both 
the low-level and the application-level re- 
sults are indexed against an IBM AT. The 
Unix tests measure system speed when 
running a complex, multitasking, pro- 
tected-mode environment. Descriptions 
of the eighteen individual machines 

tests translated into average scores on the 
application benchmarks. Increasing the 
cache size on the hard disk drive control- 
ler would substantially increase the ap- 
plication benchmark results. 

The Acma 486/33 was one of a few 
systems that ran without problems right 
out of the box. The system's Award BIOS 
features a detailed ISA setup routine in 
ROM that handles video and BIOS shad- 

The Acma 486/33 offers solid con- 
truction and good performance for what 
you'll pay. Several systems are less ex- 
pensive, but none of these was as well 
constructed or ran as reliably. 


Acma 486/33 

Photo 1 : One of the least expensive 
systems in this review, the Acma 486/33 
offers an outstanding mix of 
performance, reliable operation, 
and affordability. 

Acma Computers offers a moderately 
priced tower system that includes 
both the fast Ultra 22C caching EISA 
disk drive controller with a 512K-byte 
cache and a 256K-byte external proces- 
sor cache. Our test system, equipped 
with two floppy disk drives, a 360-MB 
hard disk drive, a 1-MB ProDesigner II 
Super VGA card, and a color monitor, 
sells for $7790 (see photo 1). 

The system's large external cache 
boosted CPU performance in the low- 
level benchmarks. Average video and 
hard disk drive scores on the low-level 

any of the systems covered here rep- 
resent the most powerful model from 
a company. Advanced Logic Research is 
one of a few companies that sell several 
variations of 33-MHz i486 systems. The 
PowerPro VM, which we tested, is the 
low-end model in ALR's premier Power- 
Pro line. 

ALR designed the PowerPro to com- 
pete with Compaq's Systempro. It fea- 
tures a modular design that can support 
multiple i486 processor modules and an 
external processor cache of up to 1 MB. 
The PowerPro VM that we tested in- 
cluded one processor with a 64K-byte ex- 
ternal SRAM cache and 5 MB of system 
RAM, an ALR/Paradise VGA board 
_ ^ with 256 MB of RAM, an ISA-bus ESDI 
hard disk drive and controller, and a 
^.^^.^^ color VGA monitor for $13,477. 
'-^W The processor card plugs into a propri- 
etary slot on the motherboard, as 
does the system cache. CPU perfor- 
mance was outstanding, but ALR's 
choice of a noncaching ISA-bus control- 
ler instead of a caching EISA-bus con- 
troller resulted in a consistent, if me- 
diocre, performance. ALR's higher-end 
models have an EISA SCSI bus-master 
disk drive controller. You'll pay a pre- 
mium price for the PowerPro, which 
gives you the added flexibility of adding 
a second CPU and cache. That's impor- 
tant if you want to use this system as a 
multiprocessor Unix host or as a network 
server on a Vines network. Otherwise, 
other systems may better suit your needs . 

American Mitac 4280G 

In a collection of systems notable for the 
number of cookie-cutter clones, Amer- 
ican Mitac's 4280G stands out with sev- 
eral design innovations. The mother- 

board holds a 128K-byte processor cache 
but no system memory; for this you need 
a Mitac add-in card that plugs into a pro- 
prietary memory slot. A single 16-bit 
multifunction board integrates VGA with 
512K bytes of RAM, a floppy disk drive 
controller, and I/O port circuitry. Our 
test configuration also included a color 
monitor and a 1-MB Mylex SCSI EISA- 
bus caching hard disk drive controller for 

The large tower case has convenience 
features such as a lockable cover for the 
floppy disk drives and the power, a sys- 
tem lock, and reset switches. One full- 
height drive bay works like a sliding 
drive drawer. 

Despite a weak raw CPU showing and 
a smaller disk cache than some other sys- 
tems, the Mitac system's application 
benchmark scores placed it close to the 
top. We would expect it to match the fast- 
est systems if equipped with a larger disk 


Beneath the imposing AT&T logo and 
the extra-large tower case of the Star- 
Server S lies a fast, well-designed 486/33 
system board. This system, equipped 
with a 128K-byte CPU cache, turned in 
some of the best CPU test results we've 
seen. Unfortunately, the relatively un- 
derdeveloped 128K-byte disk cache and 
its slow video performance dragged the 
StarServer S down to nearly the bottom 
of the list on our application tests. 

The StarServer S configuration we 
tested sells for $17,679. The system in- 
cluded an AT&T VDC600 VGA card 
with 256K bytes of VRAM. The Star- 
Server S is about as tall and as wide as an 
average PC tower system, but twice as 
deep. AT&T puts the extra room to good 
use by packing in eight half-height drive 
bays and 10 EISA expansion slots— more 
than any other system. 

As an AT&T box, the StarServer S 
will likely see action in a Unix environ- 
ment. However, its BYTE Unix bench- 
mark results were poor. We compile the 
Unix benchmark suite on each system, so 
the performance resuUs represent the ef- 
ficiency of the operating system and de- 
velopment environment as well as the un- 
derlying hardware. Our default PC Unix 
system is SCO Unix, which includes an 
outstanding optimizing compiler. The 
relatively slow C compiler in AT&T Unix 
penalized the StarServer S on Unix tests. 
The results demonstrate the performance 
you can expect if you plan to develop 
Unix software on the StarServer S. 


222 BYTE • MAY 1991 

To see the futur 
of motherboards, 
look at the past. 

the ATI 


You'll discover since 1985, one company has consistently 
both resellers and endusers the highest level of performance, 
quality and support at the lov^est possible price. 

Tn facl. wo were the very first company to produce 
ible motherboards. 

lit is ATronics delivers tlie best choice for 
ty U.S. designed-and-made products, 
nd with standards that meet or exceed other 
motherboards that would cost you far more 
ATronics offers one of the lowest failure rates 
in the business. Standard benchmark tests 
prove tlioir pcrloitnance. 
No other motherboard company delivers it 
all like ATronics. Prove it to yourself right now. 
Pick up the phone and call toll free for information 
' documentation on current and upcoming products, 
be on your way to a bigger, better and brighter future. 


Ask lis about our FCC Class B Bare-bone Systems! 

1991. TheATI-486IB2. 
The first 33IS0MHz baby 
AT-size 486 motherboard. 

m. TheATI-386/B2. 
\e first 33MHz XT-size 
iS6 motherboard. 


jk r-B-i 9 

Circle 35 on Inquiry Card 

1830 McCandless Dr., Milpitas, CA 95035-6844,USA 
Tel. (408)942-3344. Fax (408)942-1674 

ATronics 1991©. ATI-IOOO, ATI-386/B2 and ATI-486/B2 an! Bademarks 
and AH is a registered trademark of ATrpnics, International, Inc. 
AH other products mentioned ar« trademarks of their respective holders. 



Tandon DT 486/33 

' 1 

1 1 1 1 1 

_: _L 



Zeos 486-33C 

1 1 1 1 1 1 

1 111 


Tangent 486/33 

1 1 1 1 1 11 

III 1 

CCS 486-33C 

1 1 1 1 1 II 

1 1 

American Mitac 4280G 

1 1 1 1 1 II 

1 111 

Compaq Deskpro 486/33L 

1 1 1 1 1 II 

1 II 1 

Bitwise 433E/VP 

1 1 1 1 1 I I 


SAI 486/33 

1 1 1 1 1 II 


Blue Star 486/33E 



Lucl<y 486/33E 


Acma 486/33 


1 M 1 


louche 5550T 

1 1 1 1 1 11 





Dyna IVlicro Work IVlaster 486 

1111 1 II 

1 1 


Micro Express IVIE 486 

1 1 1 1 1 I 



Dell 433TE 

ALR PowerPro VM 


_ _ _J 



AT&T StarServer S 

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 

_ __u 

PC Craft ??n4/nn 

1111 1 11 

1 ^ 

1 1 

For comparison 


6/33S GOV 

ered In ot 

her revlev 



486/33S covered 

in other re 


NCR S486/MC33 

_ __ J 


Everex Step 486/33 

1 1 1 

1 t 1 


AST Premium 486-33 

1 ' i' 1 


T 1 

Club American 486/33 

1 1 1 

1 J _._ _] 

1 u 1 

IBM PS/2-P75 

i I 

20 40 60 80 100 20 40 60 80 
BYTE Index BYTE Index 

psi Word r~\ Desktop 1 1 

L.J Processing 1 1 Publishing 1 1 Database 

1 1 1 11 1 Scientific/ 1 1 
1 1 Compilers 1 1 CAD 1 1 Engineering 1 1 


n CPU n FPU CH Dlsl< E 

3 video 

The BYTE DOS benchmark test results, ranked by cumulative application index score, show the Tandon DT 486/33 in the top 
spot. This results from its large disk cache and hides a relatively poor showing in the low-level video tests. For each index score, 
an 8-MHz IBM AT = 1. 

224 BYTE* MAY 1991 


Tandon DT 486/33 
Tangent 486/33 
Amencan Mitac 4280G 
Zeos 486-33C 
Misys EISA/33MHZ 
Bitwise 433E/VP 
SAI 486/33' 
Touchie 5550T 
PC Craft 2304/33D 
Biue Star 486/33E 
Lucl<y 486/33E ; 
Acma 486/33 j 
ALR PowerPro ViVl ; 
Compaq Desl<pro 486/33L J 
Dyna IVlicro Worl< Master 486 
l\/1icro Express iVIE 486 
AT&T StarServer 

CCS 486-330'* \ N/A 

For comparison 486/33s covered in other revieWs 

NCR S486/iV1C33'* i n/A 
Everex Step 486/33 
AST Premium 486-33 
Ciub Amerioan 486/33 

IBt^ PS/2-P75'' j N/A 

3 6 9 12 

BYTE index 

H Dhrystone 2 EZl Floating Point CH Compiler 
n DC Arithmetic EH Tower of Hanoi D 


System Loading 

'Tested with AT&T Unix System V release 3.2, version 2.3. 
^C-compiler and Fliesystem tests run with SCO Unix 3.2.2. 

'^Tested with Deii Unix System V 3.2.1 . 
■•Machine failed to run Unix. 

The Unix benchmarks, ranked by cumulative index scores. We tested each system 
using SCO Unix System V version 3.2. 0. For all results, an Everex Step 386/33 
running SCO Xenix 2.3.1 = 1. 

Blue Star 486/33E 

P he Blue Star desktop 486/33E uses an 
I AIR motherboard with a 256K-byte 
cache, coupled with an Ultra 22C disk 
drive controller with a 512K-byte cache, 
and a 1-MB SpeedStar VGA board. Its 
overall performance was slightly better 
than average. 

Our test system had problems remem- 
bering its EISA configuration informa- 
tion; it sometimes booted with the paral- 
lel port on the motherboard mysteriously 
disabled. A session with the EISA con- 
figuration utility cleared up the problem, 
but its intermittent nature made it espe- 
cially frustrating. 

At $7249, the mail-order Blue Star 
486/33E is a bargain. However, the sup- 
port we got when trying to solve config- 
uration conflicts with the Ultra 22C con- 
troller was disappointing; the company 
representative simply passed along Ul- 
traStor's phone number. It's unlikely 
that the level of support will improve as 
long as EISA systems and peripherals re- 
main in the realm of new technology. 

Custom Computer Systems 486-33c 

^he Custom Computer Systems (CCS) 
.il 486-33C puts a Mylex motherboard 
with a 128K-byte CPU cache in a tower 
case. Our test system included a Mylex 
1-MB caching EISA-bus controller and a 
1-MB SpeedStar VGA board for 
$14,247. The tower case lacks a reset 
switch, positions the power inconve- 
niently at the rear of the unit, and doesn't 
offer easy access to the expansion slots. 

The CCS machine posted excellent 
benchmark scores, no doubt boosted by 
the Mylex caching SCSI controller (the 
five best performers had this controller 
installed). The system also posted strong 
numbers on the CPU and video indexes. 

Despite repeated efforts, we could not 
get Unix properly installed. A Mylex en- 
gineer said that timing problems re- 
quired a BIOS upgrade, but even a new 
motherboard didn't fix the problem. The 
Zeos system has a similar configuration 
(the Mylex motherboard and DCE-376 
controller) but ran without a hitch. The 
problem made us wonder if these systems 
are heading out the door too soon. 

Compaq Deskpro 486/33L 

^he Deskpro 486/33L exhibits all the 
1 qualities for which Compaq machines 
are known: good performance, quality 
construction, reliable operation— and 

MAY 1991 • B Y T R 22S 



a big price. The Deskpro 486/33L, at 
$21,835, is by far the most expensive 
system we reviewed. 

Paying top dollar doesn't always bring 
top quality, but with the Deskpro 486/ 
33L the two go hand in hand. This desk- 
top system includes Compaq's fast ISA 
ESDI controller, a system board with a 
128K-byte processor cache, and Com- 
paq's high-speed, high-resolution AG- 
1024 video controller, which uses Texas 
Instruments' 34010 graphics coproces- 
sor. The combination earned the Desk- 
pro 486/33L second place on the low- 
level video tests. It placed sixth on the 
application benchmarks, despite not hav- 
ing a caching disk drive controller. The 
Deskpro 486/33L ran flawlessly and was 
one of the easiest systems to set up and 

The Deskpro is one of the heaviest ma- 
chines we tested— the locking case in- 
cludes a lot of heavy steel, with a power 
supply that runs from the front to the rear 
of the case. You can access the drive bays 
from the front or back of the machine. 

If price were no object, we'd recom- 
mend this system in a heartbeat. But even 
after considering dealer discounts, the 
Deskpro 486/33L's stellar price puts it 
out of the range of all but the most dedi- 
cated Compaq shops. 


Photo 2: The Dell 433TE, with its well- 
designed tower, scored well on BYTE's 
low-level benchmarks and earned high 
marks for expandability and reliability. 

Ithough Dell's 433TE garnered only 
average numbers on most of our 
benchmarks, this was one of our favorite 
systems. The 433TE's flawless opera- 
tion, solid construction, and ample room 

for expansion make it an excellent choice 
for its moderate $10,958 price. 

Dell earns high marks for its attention 
to detail. The system came well packed, 
with good documentation, and was easy 
to set up. Once you unlock the case, one 
full side of the tower case snaps off 
without removing a single screw, allow- 
ing access to the system board, drive 
bays, and expansion slots (see photo 2). 

The case accommodates up to 1 1 half- 
height drives, the most generous of any of 
the systems we reviewed. All system 
memory mounts on a plug-in card that 
accepts Dell's proprietary memory mod- 

The 433TE earned high scores on all 
the low-level benchmarks and took the 
top spot in the video tests. Unfortunate- 
ly, these numbers didn't carry over into 
the Unix and DOS application bench- 
marks. The UltraStor Ultra 12F ISA-bus 
ESDI controller, which offers a small 
32K-byte track iDuffer instead of a full 
cache, caused the 433TE to lag behind on 
some DOS applications. Like Compaq 
and ALR, Dell opted for a more proven 
ISA-bus controller and sacrificed some 
system speed. 

Dell sells its own variation of Unix; 
the development package for this operat- 
ing system simply can't compete with the 
SCO Unix package. The 433TE lagged 
along with the StarServer S on many of 
our Unix benchmark tests. As with 
AT&T's system, Unix software develop- 
ment on the 433TE may be more re- 
stricted by the available development en- 
vironment than by the hardware. 

Dyna Micro Work Master 486 

he Work Master 486 features an AT- 
size AIR motherboard, a 256K-byte 
CPU cache, an Ultra 22C ESDI EISA 
controller, and a ProDesigner II VGA 
board with 1 MB of RAM. Dyna Micro 
sells the combination in a minitower case 
for $9999 through dealers and resellers. 
The Work Master turned in a middle- 
\ of-the-road performance that closely 
tracked that of the Blue Star system, 
which uses the same motherboard and 
disk drive controller. Except for some 
minor initial configuration difficulties, 
the system ran without problems. Dyna's 
minitower case is more like a desktop 
than a tower unit in expansion capacity; 
the box has room for just five half-height 
drives. The case also requires you to re- 
move the motherboard to install disk 
drives. At 16 inches high, however, the 
case is a good compromise between com- 
pactness and expandability. 

Lucky 486/33E 

Lucky Computer sells its 486/33E sys- 
tem via direct mail and through a 
small number of Lucky Computer stores. 
Its low $7250 price helps to offset the 
Lucky 486/33E's average performance. 
The system includes a Micronics mother- 
board with a 64K-byte processor cache, 
an Ultra 22C EISA disk drive controller, 
and a 16-bit PowerGraph VGA board 
with 1 MB of RAM. The best perfor- 
mance numbers came in the low-level 
CPU tests; the system trailed the top fin- 
ishers by a small margin in the video 
tests. High-level DOS application and 
Unix benchmark numbers were average. 

We didn't experience any problems 
with the Lucky 486/33E once we had it 
set up and running, but we did have to 
open up the unit initially to reattach 
some loose disk drive cables. And while 
the system uses brand-name components 
inside, the overall fit-and-finish was 
below par. This system is for those who 
know their way around the inside of a 
computer and for whom price is the de- 
ciding factor. 

Micro Express ME 486 

The ME 486, a mail-order machine, 
comes in at the low end of the spec- 
trum at $7672. Using the same tower 
case as the CCS and Touche systems. 
Micro Express did a better job laying out 
the internal components. The drive bay 
housing does block one of the 32-bit 
EISA slots, however, so it can't accept a 
full-length card. The unit ships with a 
half-length I/O card in this slot. 

Micro Express uses an AIR mother- 
board, an Ultra 22C EISA caching disk 
drive controller, and a 340-MB Maxtor 
ESDI hard disk drive. The Super VGA 
adapter, configured with 1 MB of RAM, 
carried a Micro Express label. 

The unit scored well on the video 
benchmarks, but sub-par disk perfor- 
mance kept it in the middle of the pack 
overall. As configured, the system came 
with only a 512K-byte disk cache, so a 
heftier cache would probably make it a 
stellar performer. 


Misys has assembled its EISA/33MHz 
system around the AMI Enterprise 
motherboard and packaged it in a sturdy 
tower case. The case has front-mounted 
turbo, reset, and power switches. The 
system accepts up to 32 MB of RAM on 


226 BYTE • MAY 1991 

rhe 4m7's 10 MFLOPS performance deliwers 3K the speed of the 486! 

The new Weitek 4167 coprocessor outperforms the 486 by 3 to 1 in numeric processing. Capable of 10 
MFLOPS, the 4167 has sockets in some of the most sophisticated 486 systems on the market, including 
Compaq, Intel, Hewlett-Packard, and Microway. The 4167 is object-code compatible with the WEITEK 3167 
FPU and Microway's mW3167-PS add-in card for the MicroChannel— offering easy access to a broad base of 
existing CAD/CAM, scientific and engineering applications like Mathematica, CADKEY, HOOPS and 
Microway's NDP compilers. And look for 4167 support on upcoming products from AutodeskI 

Number Smasher -486 converts 

your old AT or 386 into a powerful 486 
workstation. In a review of 25 MHz 486 
motherboards, Mike George of Personal 
Workstation magazine wrote, "Microway's 
Number Smasher-486 gives you top 486 
numeric performance for the best 
price... Number Smasher's numeric perfor- 
mance exceeds that of all 25 MHz 486 
systems we've tested to date." Running the 
Microway Benchmark Suite, the 
4167-equipped Number Smasher-486 achieve; 
11.9 MegaWhetstones. The board features a 

Burst Bus^" memory interface that makes it stand out in numeric 
problems that involve large arrays. Burst cycle response in a 486 
system is much more important than second level caches, which 

are usually too small to be of any use on the 
r-";3:r^' I' j megabyte arrays found in real world 
j problems. 

, j The ideal solution for numerically or I/O 

I intensive applications is Microway's new 
j Number Smasher-486/33T workstation. Two 
I configurations are available, each incor- 
1 porating state-of-the-art power and cooling 
with 300 to 600 megabyte drives. 

For more information, please cali 508-746-7341. 

NDP Fortran-486, NDP 
0486 and NDP C++ are 

your keys to unlocking the power 
of the 4167. Each compiler 
generates globally optimized, main- 
frame quality code and has special 
features that take advantage of the 
4167, such as register caching, loop 
unrolling and automatic inlining of 
small procedures. These optimiza- 
tions are handed off to a code 
generator that is tuned for the 
4167, and takes advantage of its ad- 
vanced instructions like multiply 
accumulate. In addition, the 486 
versions of NDP Fortran, C++ and 
C properly sequence 486 and 4167 
instructions so that the 486's 
prefetch queue has time to 
"breathe." NDP compilers are also 
available for the 386SX, 386 and 
i860 under DOS, UNIX, XENIX 
and SunOS. Thousands of 
Microway's satisfied customers have 
discovered that you can't buy a bet- 
ter scientific Fortran or C compiler. 
And our technical support is the 
best in the industry. 


The World Leader in PC Numerics 

Corporate Headquarters, Research Park, Box 79, Kingston, MA 02364 
TEL. 508-746-7341 • FAX 508-746-4678 

U.K. - 32 High St., Kingston-Upon-Thames, 081-541-5466 » Itaiy 02-74.90.749 
Hoiiand 40 836455 • Norway 9 876656 • Japan 81 3 222 0544 





i486-Evolution, Not Revolution 

fV^ he introduL-tion of the 386 miero- 
1 proL'L'ssor in 1986 icvolulionized 
I tlie industry hy opening ii whole 
JL new bug ol" trieks I'lir DOS-based 
systems: true imiltiproeessing, 32-bil 
operution, iicecss to 4 ^'/^jw/n'/cviil" mem- 
ory, and significantly enhanced per- 

The 386 is a tough act to follow. Giv- 
en the advances of the 3S6 over the 286, 
the i486, the latest generation in Intel's 
bread-and-butter processor line, looks 
more like an upgrade than a brand-new 
chip. And with Intel's new marketing 
strategy, the differences will be even 
less noteworthy. The company will sell 
less expensive versions of the chip with 
the on-board cache or the FPU module 

The most important feature of the 
i486 is its binary compatibility with the 
386I)X and SX, 286. 8086, and 8088 
processors. Programs written for these 
earlier processors should run without 
modification on the i486. Technically, 
the i486 instruction set is a superset of 
the 386's with a few added instructions. 
Still, the new chip is object-code com- 
patible with the 386. In fact, to most 

the motherboard and another 64 MB on a 
proprietary 32-bit AMI memory board. 

Misys includes the Ultra 22C EISA 
disk drive controller with a 512K-byte 
cache. The 340-MB Maxtor hard disk 
drive boasts an excellent 16-ms access 
time. The graphics subsystem includes a 
Super VGA monitor and a Definicon 
HiRes 1024 Super VGA adapter. The 
video board ships with with 1 MB of 
VRAM. The unit sells for $8960. 

Relatively poor disk performance kept 
the Misys in the bottom tier in the appli- 
cation benchmark tests. This was mainly 
due to the relatively small disk cache. An 
upgrade to the cache should resolve any 
performance deficiency. We were im- 
pressed with the system's rugged con- 
struction. It gave us no major headaches 
and worked flawlessly right out of the 
box. Misys backs the system with a 3- 
year warranty — the longest in the group. 
And if you're worried about the stability 
of the vendor, the warranty is underwrit- 
ten by an insurance company. 

software programs the features of the 
i486 arc identical to those of the 386. 

The i486 does sport some notable en- 
hancements. For the most part, Intel 
has simply put smnc important support 
functions under one umbrella. An eval- 
uation of performance quickly reveals, 
however, that the i486 is greater than 
the sum of its parts. Integration clearly 
has performance advantages. 

Typically, 386-based systems in- 
clude a discrete memory cache along 
with the Intel 8238.') cache controller. 
The i486 has an on-board 8K-byle inter- 
nal four-way set-associative cache and 
controller. liach memory address has a 
tag assigned to it. When the i486 re- 
quests data from memory, it compares 
the address to each tag simultaneously. 
If it finds a match (a cache hit), it 
fetches the data from the fast static 
RAM. On metnory writes, the i486 
cache updates hotii cache memory and 
main memory (write-lhniugh). 

Integrated caching hasn't deterred 
vendors from adding their own external 
CPU cache designs. An external cache 
increases the hit rate, but as its si/e in- the law of diminishing returns 

PC Craft 2304/33D 

PC Craft designed its system around 
the same third-party motherboard in- 
cluded in the Acma 486/33, although it 
opted for a smaller, 64K-byte processor 
cache. Our test system carried a list price 
of $9082, which put it squarely in the 
middle of the price spectrum. Processing 
power was quite respectable, and the Ul- 
tra 22C caching ESDI EISA disk drive 
controller contributed to the system's 
average disk drive performance; unfor- 
tunately, we ran into several annoying 
flaws while working with the machine. 
In the end, these problems tempered our 
enthusiasm for this system. 

The bulk of the problems were minor 
and had to do with poor configuration at 
the factory. Our system had 4 MB of 
RAM, but the motherboard was config- 
ured for 2 MB. The unit arrived with the 
disk drive cables completely discon- 
nected from the controller card. Our 1- 
MB ATI VGA1024 video card came con- 

takes hold. A 64K-byte external cache 
should account for most cache hits. 
Larger caches only marginally enhance 
the speed of memory access. We found 
only small differences in CPU perfor- 
mance between a .system with a 64K- 
bytc cache and a similar model with a 
256K-byte cache. 

The i486 also incorporates a math co- 
processor that's object-code compatible 
with the 80387. If you have many math- 
intensive applications, the i486 is entic- 
ing, since you won't have to buy a sepa- 
rate math chip. Remember, though, that 
your applications must recogni7e and 
enable floating-point functions. 

Perhaps the biggest change the i486 
lias wrought lies in how the rest of the 
system unit has had to change with the 
times. These new systems typically in- 
clude larger and faster hard disk drives, 
caching disk drive controllers, high-res- 
olution video components, and high- 
performance EISA expansion buses. 
These i486-bascd systems require a 
complex mix of new components that 
far surpasses what most soupcd-up 386 
systems otter. Clearly, this new breed is 
targeted for high-end applications. 

figured for 8-bit operation. (Setting it for 
16-bit mode gave better performance and 
didn't cause any conflicts.) And PC 
Craft mounted the parallel port so close 
to the bottom of the system case that it 
was impossible to plug in a standard 
printer cable. Eventually we worked 
around all these problems, but tracking 
them down was an annoyance that should 
have been unnecessary. Users making 
such a major purchase expect to receive a 
system that is carefully constructed and 
properly configured. 

More critically, the PC Craft system 
posted below-average benchmark scores. 
Slow video performance kept the 2304/ 
33D at the bottom on our DOS applica- 
tion benchmarks. With video BIOS shad- 
owing active, we detected no increase in 
speed on our BlOS-call-intensive video 
benchmarks. As it turned out, shadow- 
ing is always on. PC Craft disabled the 
setup toggle due to problems with the 
system's Award BIOS, which it says 
should be fixed in the next release. 


228 BYTE • MAY 1991 

. Introduciiig an 

iiiejq)ensive sdution 
to America^ 

saving crisis. 


'! j : ■ ' I ,1 i ■! '.f ' : ill f li ^a- M 

1^'!''/ I : I V J 

' '■ — ~' — - - - 


%uVe always wanted to own a tape drive. 
Unfortunately one small thing has always 
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Well, now you can buy an internal tape 
drive that can back up from 40 to 120 mega- 
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Our Irwin SX Series™ Tape Backup 
Systems are ready to go right out of the box. 
Unlike others, they're complete systems— 
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The Irwin SX Series also includes a 
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But that's not all. Every Irwin SX drive 
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include a coupon that lets you buy 
Central Point PC Tools Deluxe™ 
for just $50. A $99 savings from 
its usual $149 price tag. .-v^..-..™. ! 

So if you want to back up ' ' ' ! 
on tape without emptying your bank account, 
pick up an SX Series system at your nearest 
Irwin dealer. 

Or, call 800-BACKUPl for more 
information. And we'll help end your 
savings crisis. 

In more ways than one. 



An Archive® Company 

'Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price. ©1991, Irwin Magnetic Systems, a subsidiary of Archive Corporation. 2101 Commonwealth Blvd., Ann Arbor, MI 48105-1561. Irwin and the Irwin logo are registered trademarks and the SX Series 
by Irwm is a trademark of Irwm Magnetic Systems, Inc. Central Point Backup and PC 'Ibols Deluxe are trademarks of Central Point Software, Inc. All other trademarks or registered trademarks are the property of their respective holders. 

Circle 1 71 on Inquiry Card. 


Bitwise 433E/VP Portable 

ou can do a lot with the 33-MHz 
486 EISA systems from Com- 
paq, ALR, and the other big 
names. You can set them up as 
networlc or workgroup servers, or you 
can configure them as powerful CAD 
workstations. You cannot, however, 
carry one over your shoulder or conve- 
niently stash it away in the overhead bin 
on an airplane. 

The Bitwise 433E/VP adds the extra 
feature of portability to the already 
impressive performance fea- .te^j^bi- 
tures of 486-based EISA sys- 
tems. The 433E/VP packs a 33 
MHz i486, six EISA slots, three 
half-height drive bays, two serial ports, 
and one parallel port into a standard 
"lunchbox" case that's about the size of 
a Compaq Portable III. At a hefty 22 
pounds, this isn't the kind of machine 
you want to haul around on every trip. 
But for the processing power it con- 
tains, the 433E/VP's weight is more 
than reasonable. 

Bitwise Designs is one of the first 
vendors to release a 486/33 EISA porta- 
ble—the system competes with IBM's 
PS/2 Model P75 (see "The Fastest Por- 
table: IBM's P75 Road Warrior," April 
BYTE). The 433E/VP is faster and 
cheaper than IBM's Micro Channel 
portable, but the PS/2 Model P75 is 
much more ruggedly designed. 

Our test unit, which included a Mylex 
caching SCSI disk drive controller with 

Bitwise 's luggable 433E/VP packs 
486/33 EISA performance into a 
22-pound package. 

4 megabytes of RAM and a 200-MB 
hard disk drive, turned in DOS and 
Unix benchmark results worthy of any 
of the 486 desktops (see the figures). 
There is a performance penalty to pay 
for reduced size, however. The Bitwise 
portable is built around a baby version 
of the AIR motherboard found in sev- 
eral desktops, and it has no external 
processor cache. The result is weak per- 
formance on CPU benchmarks, relative 
to the other 486/33s. 
The case construction is good, but the 

SAI 486/33 

\ AI Systems Laboratories' $7495 486/ 
I* 33 desktop system is one of a group of 
systems vying for bargain status. Our test 
unit included an AIR motherboard with a 
256K-byte CPU cache, a SpeedStar VGA 
board with 1 MB of VRAM, and Data 
Technology's caching ESDI EISA bus- 
mastering disk drive controller with a 4- 
MB cache. By going with the Data Tech- 
nology controller, SAI bucks the Ultra- 
Stor ESDI disk drive controller trend set 
by other vendors. Data Technology's 
board performed well, but because it 
caches disk reads only, it didn't quite 
match the numbers posted by the Zeos, 
Tangent, and Tandon systems using My- 

lex controllers. If you require extremely 
high data reliability, however. Data 
Technology's no-write cache is arguably 
a safer design. 

The 486/33 appears to be assembled 
well, and its overall performance is bet- 
ter than average. Its sole problem was an 
intermittent keyboard failure. 

Tandon DT 486/33 

''I ' he top spot on our application bench- 
I. mark performance index belongs to 
Tandon's DT 486/33, which edged out 
other systems with large disk caches. 
Tandon's entry included a 64K-byte pro- 
cessor cache, a Mylex caching disk drive 

two flimsy folding brackets that hold the 
orange gas-plasma display tend to stick 
if you aren't careful wiicn folding and 
unfolding the screen. The display itself 
has good contrast and is quite readable. 
Since the .system includes a Super VGA 
card, you can sot up a high-resolution 
graphics system by jacking in an exter- 
nal analog monitor. We noticed, how- 
ever, thai this I'CC Class A portable 
causes significant interference on some 
external monitors. 

Our test system sells for $12,495, 
making it somewhat more costly than 
the bulk of the systems reviewed. But 
add a tape drive and a high-resolution 
monitor, and it's a totable alternative to 
most desktop models, although with 
slightly lower CPU performance. 

The 433E/VP works best as a desktop 
machine that you can take with you 
on occasion. All peripherals plug into 
standard ports, so you can add an exter- 
nal keyboard and monitor, and there are 
enough slots to add a network adapter. 

Software developers and CAD users 
who take work home or travel with their 
systems will also find the Bitwise sys- 
tem attractive. While the 433E/VP can 
handle network chores or be used to pro- 
cess large databases, portability pre- 
sents a security problem you may not 
want to risk. But if you need a 486 EISA 
system and are willing to sacrifice a bit 
of processing power for portability, the 
433E/VP is a good choice. 

controller with a 4-MB cache, and a Pro- 
Designer II VGA board with 1 MB of 
RAM for $9956. This price doesn't in- 
clude a tape backup unit, as do the other 
systems we tested. 

The Tandon motherboard has an Intel- 
ligent Drive Electronics interface but no 
RAM sockets; Tandon put system mem- 
ory on a card that fits into a proprietary 
32-bit slot. The case design makes for 
easy access to the internal components. 

Tandon's enhanced BIOS and DOS in- 
clude several useful utilities. For exam- 
ple, the BIOS lets you choose whether 
you want to boot from a disk or from the 
hard disk partition of your choice when 
the system starts up. If you intend to run 
more than one operating system, this is a 

230 BYTE • MAY 1991 

Power Packed & Built To Last. 


Economical This UL approved, fully tested 
tinit is one of the best generic 150s available. 
Ideal for basic systems. 




STANDARD 220 $99 

Economical This UL approved, fully tested 
unit is one of the best generic 220s available, 
Ideal for basic systems. 


CPliO $169 

Original Portable Upgrade Double your 
power with our direct replacement CP160, 
Allows 286, 386, and hard disk upgrades. 


Ultra-Quiet Stop that irritating noise with 
the Silencer 150. Its large, low speed, German 
fan keeps your system 5" to 15° cooler and 84% 
quieter. Virtually inaudible! Great in the 
executive suite or home office. 

TU1BO-COOL200 $169 

High Performance Put AT power and 200% 
more cooling under the hood of your PC/XT 
with our UL approved Turbo-Cool 200, Its 
patented twin fan, sloped-cover design keeps 
your system 30° to 45° cooler, preventing data 
errors and other heat-related problems. Perfect 
for hot rod PCs and Mini ATs! 

TURBO-COOL 275 $169 

Slim and Powerful Give your Slimhne or 
Mini-T)wer computer up to 100% more power 
and cooHng with our low profde, direct 
replacement Tiirbo-Cool 275, With a peak 
capacity of 3 50 watts, it will easily start even the 
largest hard drives and peripherals! 

Silencer, Turbo-Cool, and InnerSource are trademark of PC Power & Cooling, Inc. Compaq 
and Deskpro are registered trademarks of Compaq Computer Corporation. 

SILENCER 220 $139 

Ultra-Quiet Unrattle your nerves with the 
Silencer 220, Its high-efficiency adjustable- 
speed fan offers 69% less noise with standard 
cooHng. Quieter than most hard drives. Great 
in the executive suite or home office, 

TURBO-COOL 300 $189 

High Performance Upgrade your AT/386 
with our powerful Turbo-Cool 300, This 
popular OEM unit features built-in Hue 
conditioning, UL/CSA/TUV approval, 2 year 
warranty, and a high-capacity, adjustable-speed 
fan that keeps your system 20° to 35° cooler for 
up to three times longer life. Great value! 

TURBO-COOL 450 $349 

Maximum Performance The choice of PC 
professionals, our Tirbo-Cool 450 featores 
built-in line conditioning, autoselect input, 
independent regulation, external DC voltage 
adjustment, triple-stage output filter, 50cfm 
cooling fan, UL/CSA/TUV approval, 200,000 
Hr, MTBF and 2 year warranty! Ideal for 
high-end workstations and network file servers. 

CI)270 $249 

Dcskpro Upgrade The power user's power 
supply! Our direct replacement CD270 gives 
your 8086/286/386 Deskpro up to 70% more 
power and the reliability it deserves. Prevents 
nuisance rebooting. Advanced design includes 
autoselect 110V/220V 2 -year warranty 

"An excellent product" 

- PC Magazine, Nov. 27, 1990 

Our UL approved InnerSource is the first 
AT/386 power supply with a built-in UPS, 
Its auto-recharge battery provides up to 15 
minutes of reliable backup power for both 
your PC and monitor. This integrated 
protection costs less than a bulky 550VA 
external UPS, and it saves space, too, A 
Novell NetWare interface is available, $395 

Mo,st orders sliipped same day. We accept Visa, MC, COD or PO on approved credit. 

31510MountainWay,Bonsall,CA92003 • (619) 723-9513 ^ (800) 722-6555 ^ FAX (619) 723-0075 

Circle 250 on Inquiry Card (RESELLERS: 251). 

Circle 368 on Inquiry Card (RESELLERS: 369). 


I Illinois Per-Caplta 
A Personal Income 

mm 6000 to 10000 

t~3 10000 to 11600 

em 11600 to 12600 

1=3 12600 to 13600 
« 13500 to 18600 


' ! 

MapViewer" . . 
Working Model 



■ Cai! Toil-Frei 
I 1-800-i72-10^ 

I or (303) 279-1021 

I FAX; (303) 279-0909 



the horizontal direction, vertical direction, or both. You can 
use the built-in symtwis, create your own, or import symbols 
from other applications using the Windows Clipboard. 

MapViewGr" supports multiple layers, allowing you 
to combine different map types (Hatch Maps, Dot Density 
Maps, Pie Maps, Symbol Maps, and Prism Maps) into a 
single map. Use data files created with other programs 
including Lotus 1-2-3, Microsoft Excel, and standard 
ASCII flies. 

MapViewer" comes with boufidary files 
for the coufitries of the worW, ali 50 states, 
and ali the counties In the U.S. There is no 
need to purchase additional boundary files or 
data sets. Everything you need to create 
stunning full-color maps is included in one low 
price, in addition, Golden Software provides 
TOLL-FREE technical support in the U.S. 

Requires 8 
Windows I 
3.0 I 


809 14th St., Golden, CO 80401 



handy feature. Tandon's DOS also in- 
cludes disk-partition managing utilities 
that are better and more comprehensive 
than the usual FDISK. 

Video performance was disappointing ZeoS 486-33C 
despite the inclusion of the ProDesigiKT 
II. The DT 486/33 's video system farod 
poorly on text-mode applications, pri- 
marily because video BIOS shadowjni: 
had little effect. 

Tangent 486/33 

Tangent's system included a My]e\ /j 
disk drive controller with a 4-MH 

the board. At this price, the Touche de- 
serves a close look. 

cache. Its 128K-byte external proces 
sor cache and ProDesigner II VGA 
board with 512K bytes of 
RAM propelled it nearly to 
the top on most of our bench- 
marks. These top-of-the-line 
components come mounted 
on a Mylex EISA mother- 
board and in a generic tower 
case, for $8999. 

The system had just a few 
minor problems. The floppy disk drive 
cables weren't connected when the sys- 
tem arrived, and the system experienced 
an unrecoverable disk error while it was 
running Unix. The disk error occurred 
only once. These problems aside, we 
found the unit fast and sturdy. Like some 
of the other midrange systems we've 
seen, the Tangent 486/33 offers a good 
mix of speed and consistency. 

Touche 5550T 

t $61 17 for our standard test config- 
uration, the Touche 5550T offers 
strong features at an attractive price. The 
system uses the Ultra 22C disk drive con- 
troller and the Maxtor XT-8380E ESDI 
hard disk drive with a fast 14.5-ms aver- 
age seek time. The system also uses the 
ProDesigner II video adapter with 1 MB 
of VRAM. The Touche's 450-watt 
power supply was one of the largest we 

The system uses AMI's Enterprise 
motherboard with a 128K-byte processor 
cache. The internal layout doesn't seem 
well thought out, however. The drive bay 
housing partially blocks two of the seven 
EISA slots in the system, so they can't ac- 
cept full-length boards. The case design 
also prevents you from placing a screw- 
driver squarely into the expansion slot 

Despite its relatively small (512K- 
byte) disk cache, the Touche performed 
well, posting consistent numbers across 

Photo 3: Zeos 's desktop 486-33C 
blends high performance and excellent 

ost of the machines we tested offer 
L either performance or reliability. 
Zeos's 486-33C desktop machine was 
one of the few that offered both. The sys- 
tem finished close to the top on both our 
DOS application and Unix tests, and it 
ran without a single snag for the several 
weeks that we used it (see photo 3). 

Our tRst system used a Mylex mother- 
board with a 2-MB Mylex caching hard 
disk drive controller and a SpeedStar 
VGA board with 1 MB of VRAM. Like 
Touche, Zeos powers its system with a 
rugged 450-W power supply. 

Zeos's price/performance ratio is 
good. The 486-33C's price of $9190 sits 
at the midpoint. Together with the reli- 
ability we've seen and the company's 
generally good reputation for support, 
the 486-33C looks like an excellent 

Thinking It Over 

EISA technology has been around for 
well over a year, but EISA expansion- 
board manufacturers are still working 
out the kinks. EISA peripherals have yet 
to reach the point where you can confi- 
dently buy off the shelf and expect to as- 
semble a system without difficulty. 

The problems we experienced make us 
leery of buying one of these complex 

232 BYTE • MAY 1991 



Birds, turtles, crocodiles — just as the egg is 
nature's most efficient design for delivering complex life systems, DTK's 
KEEN-3300 Series is the ideal 386 computer with which to build your net- 
work or muhi-user system. As a fileserver, networkstation or standalone 
system, its unique write-back cache (64KB/256KB) and competitive price 
make it one of the most cost-efficient, high-speed systems available. 



Over 100 full-time design and manufacturing 
engineers work together to ensure that dependability is "built-in." 
Then, QC personnel scrutinize every DTK motherboard and system to 
the most stringent standards in the industry. Over 2,000,000 satisfied 
customers testify to our reputation for quality and dependability. 



NelWare' Compalible 

Like the egg, the basic KEEN-3300 is merely 
the beginning. Its 16 MBytes of high-speed RAM, 8 expansion slots and 
7 drive bays (server) provide the flexibility you need to expand your 
system as your requirements grow. 

The KEEN-3300 — a powerful beginning at a price that 
won't crack your budget. Call for the dealer nearest you, 
DTK Computer Inc., (818) 333-7533. 15711 E. Valley Blvd., 
City of Industry, CA 91744. Fax: (818) 333-5429. 

mm _ _ 

Tlie VJM's LeacJng Comfxiter Trade Shew for ReseSere and BitHteers 

May 20-23, 1991 - Atlanta, Georgia 

A reputation for success. 

(818) 333f7533 

(408) 436-6363 


(713) 568-6688 (708) 593-3080 

DTK is a trademark of Datatcch Enterprises Co., Lid. 80386 is a trademarl< of INTEL Corp. "DTK Computer Inc., 1990. 

Circle 104 on Inquiry Card (RESELLERS: 105). 

(201) 417-0300 


machines from the ultralow-cost mail- 
order clone vendors. Unless the added 
performance is crucial and you're on a 
strict budget, consider paying a little 
more for added support and stability. 

On the other hand, the conservative 
approach of the very high-end system 
vendors generally means that you'll be 
paying top dollar without reaping the 
performance advantages of EISA compo- 
nents. The ALR multiprocessing system 
offers extra power, but you'll want more 
than this bottom-line configuration to 
fully exploit the EISA bus and deliver the 
speed you expect. 

A few systems between the two ex- 
tremes blend reliability, good perfor- 
mance, and affordability. The three most 
outstanding were systems built by Zeos, 
Dell, and Acma. 

Zeos's 486-33C scored very well on 
our benchmarks; its price is moderate, 
and the manufacturer has a good reputa- 
tion for service. 

Dell's 433TE, while not quite as fast, 
is reliable and ruggedly constructed. The 
company builds the 433TE from the 
ground up, giving it better control of the 
interaction between components than is 
the case with systems that are assembled 

from third-party subsystems. 

Finally, Acma's 486/33 offers speed 
and reliability at an outstanding price. 

Our best advice is simply to wait for 
the technology to develop further. Six 
months from now, reliable, full EISA 
486s should be available. For now, how- 
ever, buying into EISA means accepting 
the risks as well as the benefits of pio- 
neering new technology. @ 

Steve Apiki and Stanford Diehl are testing 
editors for the BYTE Lab. You can reach 
them on BIX as "apiki " and "sdiehl, " 

Aciiiii Cfimpiiter.s, Inc. 

Blue Star Computers 

Lucky C(miputer Co. 

SAI Systems 



(486/33 F) 

Laboratories, Inc. 

1 17 Fourier Ave. 

2312 Central Ave. Nli 

1701 North Greenville, 


Fremont. CA 'M.'53y 

Minneapolis. MN 55418 

Suite 602 

91 1 Bridgeport Ave. 


(800) 950-8854 

Riehanlson, TX 75081 

Shellon.CT 06484 


(612) 788-1092 

(800) 9f)6-5825 

(800) 248-0381 

fax: (415)623-0818 

fax: (612)788-3442 


(203) 929-0790 

Circle 1400 on Inquiry Card. 

Circle 1405 on Inquiry Card. 

tax: (214) 437-3251 

lax: (203)929-6948 

Circle 1 41 on Inquiry Card. 

Circle 1 41 4 on Inquiry Card. 

AdviiiK-vd Lo}>li.' Ke.scai'cli, 

Coiiip»(| Computer Corp. 


(Deskpro 486/33L) 

Micro Express 

Tandon (^orp. 

(PowerPro VM) 

20555 SH 249 

(MF; 486) 

(DT 486/33) 

9401 Geroninio 

Houston, TX 77070 

i801 Fast Carnegie Ave. 

405 Seienee Dr. 

Irvine. CA 927 IK 

(713) 370-0670 

Santa Ana. CA 92750 

Moorpark.CA 93021 


Circle 1 406 on Inquiry Card. 


(800) 800-8850 

lax: (714)581-9240 

(714) 8.52-1400 

(80.5) 378-6165 

Circle 1401 on Inquiry Cord. 

('ustoni (!;oniputer 

lax: (714) 8.52-1225 

liix: (805)529-8408 

Sy.stems, Inc. (('CS) 

Circle 1411 on Inquiry Card. 

Circle 1415 on Inquiry Card. 

Anivricaii Mitac Corp. 



191 WoodportRd. 

.Misys, Inc. 

Tangent Computei', Inc. 

410 Fast Pluincrla Dr. 

.Sparta, NJ 07871 



San CA 95134 


1351 Oak Brook Dr., 

197 Airport Blvd. 

(408)432-1 160 

tax: (201)729-0966 

Suite 160 

Burlingame.CA 94010 

lax: (408)432-8519 

Circle 1 407 on Inquiry Card . 

Noreross, GA 30093 

(800) 223-6677 

Circle 1 402 on Inquiry Card . 

(800) 932-6936 

(41.5) 342-9388 

Dell Computer Corp. 

(404) 448-8486 

fax: (415) 342-9380 

AT&T Ciiiiipiit(.>i- Sv.stein.s 


fax: (404)242-4082 

Circle 1 41 6 on Inquiry Card. 

(StarServer S) 

9505 Arboretum Blvd. 

Circle 1412 on Inquiry Card. 

1 Speedwell Ave. 

Austin, TX 78759 

Touche Micro Teclinologies 

Morrislown, NJ 07960 

(512) 338-4400 

PC Craft, Inc. 



tax: (512)338-8700 


8205 Class Ave. 

Circle 1403 on Inquiry Card. 

Circle 1408 on Inquiry Card. 

640 Puente St. 

Darien, IF 605.59 

Brea.CA 92621 


Kit wise DtsigiLs, Inc. 

Dvna Micro, Inc. 

(800) 733-6666 

fax: (708)810-9490 


(Work Master 486) 

(714) 256-5000 

Circle 1417on Inquiry Card. 

701 River St. 

30 West Montai!ue Kxpy. 

fax: (714) 256-.5025 

Troy. NY 12180 

San .lose, CA 95 1.34 

Circle 1413 on Inquiry Card. 

/eos International, Ltd. 

(SOt')) 367-5906 

(800) 336-3962 


(5 IS) 274-0755 


.530 Filth Ave. NW 

fax: (518)274-0764 

tax: (408)943-0714 

.St. Paul, MN55112 

Circle 1 404 on Inquiry Card . 

Circle 1 409 on Inquiry Card. 



fax: (612)6.33-1325 

Circle 1 41 8 on Inquiry Card. 

234 BYTE • MAY 1991 


Cache Computers announces 
the fastest 486 boards in the 
world. Our BAT486-50, the first 
SOMHz 486 "Baby AT" board, 
races past the competition at 
over 22 MIPS! Using Velox's 
patented IceCap "supercomputer" 
cooling technology and CACHE'S 
advanced design, BAT486-50 sets 
a new speed record while others 
crash and burn. 

Our BAT486-40 
"Baby AT" board 
its 18 MIPS at 40 MHz and offers 
up to 32MB of onboard RAM. 

Need an EISA system you can 
depend on when the heat is 
^ on? Try CACHE486-33/EISA. 
With up to 256K of cache 
and up to 64MB of RAM, 

board is for 
the most intense 
file server or workstation 

reliability makes it a winner 
in any 486 workstation. The 
full-size AT system board 
runs at 25 or 33MHz, with 

The Cache family of 486 system boards puts the competition on ice. 

Even at these extremes, our boards 
perform as cool as cucumbers. 

The 486 family complements Cache's 
line of high-performance 386SX and 
386DX system boards. Available with 
AT/EISA or cache/non-cache options, 
Cache offers the most comprehensive 

ine of All- 











Haby AT 





Haby AT 





Full -.size 






32 ■ 


BAT486-S0: SOMHz using "supercomputer" cooling technology 

1 28K of cache, and up to 1 6MB of RAM. 

Cache ensures maximum reliability at high 
speed by testing every 486 board at 50° C to 
verify the extra margin for "worst case" timing. 

products in 
the industry. 

If your 486 
systems crash 
and burn at a\ 
high temper- , * ' 
atures or at 
high speeds, call 
Cache Computers now. We'll put 
cold, hard cash in your pocket. 



46714 Fremont Blvd. 
Fremont, CA 94538 
Tel: (415) 226-9922 
Fax: (415)226-9911 


© 1991 Cache Computers Inc. 

Ait trademarks are property of their respective companies, 

Circle 59 on Inquiry Card. 


Cbmplete25MHz system Only %95, 


Take your pkk: 
Order your own 
ZEOS 25MHz or 

33MHz '486 EISA 
system at new low 

Choose from our 
broad selection 
of money saving 
packages or let us 
custom configure a 
system just for you. 

Whatever you decide, 
you'll see why ZEOS 
is the technology 
leader in high speed 
'486 EISA systems. 

Call now to order! 

Mail this post-paid reply card 
and we'll send you complete in- 
formation on the great ZEOS 
systems you are interested in. 
For even faster service, Call Toll 
Free 800-423-5891. Call anytime 
because we're open 24 hours a 
day, every day You're going to 
love your new ZEOS system! 

□ Please have a ZEOS repre- 
sentative call me. 

Name;, — 



,e print 

Address; — 

_ State:, 

Kind of Business; _ 
Home Phone: ( 
Business Phone: ( 
Fax#: ( )_ 

Fast Facts 


1. 1 am most interested in the 
following ZEOS system(s). 
386SX DieMHz □20MHz 
386DX □25MHz □33MHz 
486 □ 25MHz □ 33MHz 

□ 386SX Portable 

□ ZEOS Notebook 

2. Where would these systems 
be used? 

□ Business □ Home 

3. How many PC's do you intend 
to purchase within the next twelve months? 
Quantity Time Period Quantity Time Period 

Immediately 3-6 months 

1-3 months 6-12 months 

4. Are you interested in networking products? 

□ Yes QNo 

5. How many users would be on 
your network? , 

6. Are you interested in leasing? 

□ Yes QNo 

7. Would you like to apply for a 
ZEOS Credit Card? □Yes □No 



ZEOS International, Ltd. 

530 5th Avenue, NW 

St. Paul, Minnesota 55112-9960 

I.I.I. .1.1.... II. .,II„I,II,ImI.I,„II„II,m.iI,II 



Available right now! ZEOS harnesses 
the incredible power of the '486. Then 
we combine it with all the advantages of 
the EISA bus. The result is the finest 
computing platform you can buy. And if s 
ready for you today! 


The '486 chip is a technological marvel, 
It includes not only an 
advanced processor core 
but also a built-in cache 
controller, memory 
cache, floating point 
math coprocessor, and 
an advanced memory 
management unit. Run- 
ning 40%-50% faster 
than similar '386 chips, 
the '486 malces short 
work of any processor- 
intensive applications. 
But where does it really 


It really shines when ZEOS combines 
it with the EISA 32-bit bus! The '486 is 
a 32-bit processor. It runs 32-bit software. 
And, to bring out its full potential, it 
demands a 32-bit bus. That bus is EISA. 
It is the perfect bus for the '486 and it is 
the only bus you should consider if you 
arepurchasing a '486 system. Why? 

Compatibility for starters. Just as the 
'486 processor offers full compatibility 
with all of your software, the EISA bus 
accepts your present 8-bit and 16-bit ex- 
pansion cards and runs them without a 
hitch. And then the performance really 
kicks in. 

We're talking about 32-bit hardware 
performance. It's the reason the '486 was 
invented. To unleash the potential of 32- 
bit software and hardware. And ZEOS 
gives you both. 


Price, Performance, Quality and 
Support. Value. These are the ZEOS hall- 
marks. Remember, it -was ZEOS that 
invented 24 Hour a Day Toll Free Tech- 
nical Support. Others have since copied 
us, but no me can match ZEOS support. 
It's the best in the business. 

And that's only 
the start of your ZEOS 
Customer Satisfaction 
package. Add to it our 
30 Day Absolute Satis- 
faction Money Back 
Guarantee, One Full 
Year Limited Warranty 
and our Express Parts 
Replacement Policy 
You're going to be very 
satisfied. We don't just 
say it. We Guarantee It! 

OWN ZEOS '486 

Ordering your own ZEOS '486 is easy 
Simply pick up the phone and give us a 
call at 800-423-5891. For a personal work- 
station, file server or any high perfor- 
mance application, your ZEOS 486 EISA 
is the perfect solution. That's not just a 
promise. That's a Guarantee. 




ZEOS has them all. Starting with 
blazing 32-bit EISA cards and every other 
high performance option you could want. 
Choose from a huge selection of hard 
drives, video packages, and more. What- 
ever you need to equip your system to 
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Circle 347 on Inquiry Card. 

X Terminals for Workstation 

Power at PC Prices 


ven though workstation costs are 
' fl coming down, they're still by no 
I -J means cheap: A fully config- 
. ured color workstation for less 
.¥--^1 than $9000 is a rare find. But 
the power of Unix and the visual impact 
and ease of use of the X Window System 
may not be too expensive to put on every 
desk in the office— that is, if you con- 
sider using X terminals. 

Even though they've been available for 
some time, there is still confusion about 
what an X terminal is and what it does. 
Simply stated, X terminals are to graph- 
ics workstations what serial "dumb" 
terminals are to text-based multiuser sys- 
tems. Both allow you to run applications 
without having to sit in front of the host 
system. But while a serial terminal's in- 
ternal software is mostly limited to dis- 
playing text (at a particular position and 
with certain attributes), an X terminal 
runs MIT's X Window System graphical 
windowing software. 

Thus, instead of merely displaying one 
text application that occupies the entire 
screen, an X terminal can display several 
applications, textual and graphical, si- 
multaneously. What's more, each appli- 
cation can be running on a different host; 
and since the connection is via 10-mega- 
bit-per-second Ethernet, display perfor- 
mance is often fast enough to rival (or 
beat) the workstation's original display. 

The thing that distinguishes an X ter- 
minal from a diskless workstation is that 
the applications load and run on a remote 
host. Display output, along with mouse 
and keyboard input requests, is routed 
through the network from the host to the 
terminal. X Window software can't tell 
the difference. 

In theory, any X Window software 
that your workstation can run will oper- 

ate identically at an X icirniniil And 
with few exceptions, s iiisi how ii 
works. The exceptions come when appli- 
cations developers depart from the stan- 
dard for reasons of their own, or when 
the underlying software itself is flawed. 
Any "properly behaved" X application, 
written using quality X Window librar- 
ies, operates every bit as well on an X ter- 
minal as on the host's display. 

The Common Threads 

Up to a point, every X terminal I looked 
at was much like the others. They all run 
the same software— MIT's X Window 
System 11 release 4 (XI 1.4)— and pro- 
vide a similar range of services to users. 
The X Window standard is broad and 
specific, leaving (thankfully) little room 
for the kind of innovation that breaks 
things. What differentiates X terminals 
from one another are issues not related to 
their basic capabilities, so I focused my 
testing on application and host compati- 
bility, configuration interface, ease of 
connection, and performance. 

It might surprise you that performance 
was the last thing that I concerned myself 
with when evaluating these terminals. 
Great, deep political debates are raging 
over whether X Window performance 
can reliably be gauged at all, but my rea- 
son for not worrying about it is much 
simpler: Once a terminal goes past the 
"fast enough" mark, it matters little if 
one scrolls text 10 percent faster than an- 
other. The point is to obtain a cost-effec- 
tive terminal that hooks up easily and 
runs everything it's asked to run. 

This review was not intended to in- 
clude every X terminal ever made. I se- 
lected five high-resolution color units 
that are representative of what you'll find 
on the market. The units were supplied 

238 BYTE • MAY 1991 



These X terminals provide an 
excellent way to put graphics 
power on every desk while 
keeping costs down. 


Some terminals' setup and host 
connection software made the task 
more difficult than it needed to 
be. Some X applications still make 
unreasonable assumptions about 
hardware and servers, affecting 
the ability of certain terminals to 
run a small class of applications. 


For overall value, the HDS 
ViewStation for $5 1 99 provides a 
large viewing area, high 
resolution, and excellent software 
on tape. Its standard 2-MB 
memory may cramp a demanding 
user, but it is expandable. For a 
smaller terminal, the 17-inch NCR 
X-Station had a slight edge over 
theNCD NCD17c in cost- 
effectiveness and quality 


HDS ViewStation; $5199 
NCDNCDlZc; $5050 
NCR X-Stationi $4800 
Tektronix XP29: $7495 
Visual Technology XDS; $7555 

by Human Designed Systems (HDS), 
Network Computing Devices (NCD), 
NCR, Tektronix, and Visual Technol- 
ogy. All provide a minimum display of 
1024 by 768 pixels in 256 colors on a 17- 
inch or larger screen. 

I connected the terminals to BYTE's 
Unix Lab network via thin-wire Ethernet 
cable. I ran X applications from the fol- 
lowing hosts: a Sun IPC running Open 
Windows 2.0, an Altos System 5000 run- 
ning Altos Unix (with The Santa Cruz 
Operation's Open Desktop), a Multi- 
micro 386/33 running Interactive Unix 
2.2 and X Window 1.2, an IBM RISC 
System 6000 running AIX, and an Arche 
486/33 running Intel System V release 4. 

The suite of applications that I ran in- 
cluded FrameMaker 2.1x, IslandWrite, 
IslandPaint, and IslandDraw 2.3 for 
Open Look, Uniplex Windows, Looking 

MAY 1991 • BYTE 239 


Glass, X. desktop, Motif and Open Look 
window managers (and the Open Look 
file manager), and a small group of pub- 
lic domain custom programs. I also used 
the standard X Window assortment of 
terminal emulator, clock, calculator, 
and other programs. 

They've Got Connections 

You might think, with all this rampant 
connectivity, that an X terminal would 
be a plug-and-play device. Well, not 
quite. I'd hardly call it an ordeal, but 
configuring an X terminal for your envi- 
ronment is anything but automatic. 

The terminals came with XII. 4, con- 
figuration utilities, and telnet network 
terminal emulation programs in ROM. 
Generally, all that was needed to make 
the first connection was to load the ter- 
minal's TCP/ IP address into configura- 
tion RAM, reboot, and use telnet to 
connect to the host to run the xterm ter- 
minal program. Each X terminal comes 
with a tiny selection of X Window fonts 
in memory, just enough to get basic ap- 
plications (e.g., terminal emulator win- 
dows) running. To do any real work, you 
must create a way for the terminal to ac- 
cess the 200-plus fonts that come stan- 
dard with XI 1.4. 

On a workstation, an X server can load 
fonts off the hard disk as needed. Lack- 
ing local disks, X terminals fetch fonts in 
a rather clever way. A cartridge tape is 
provided that contains font bit maps. You 
load the tape onto a workstation's hard 
disk and then configure the terminal 
with the network address and directory 
name in which the fonts are stored. Be- 
cause sorhe applications (e.g., Looking 
Glass) require special fonts, some tapes 
also include tools for converting fonts 
from their original format to one the X 
terminal can use. 

Configured fonts are downloaded into 
the X terminal's RAM from the font host 
as needed. In addition to fonts, color 
tables, ASCII configuration files, and 
even server binary images can be stored 
on and loaded from remote hosts. The 
server image download capability is a 
nice touch; some of these terminals' 
server software can be upgraded with a 
tape rather than firmware. 

All the tested terminals include some 
form of point-and-click configuration 
utility; some are graphical, while others 
are mostly text based. How they work is 
covered in the individual discussions that 
follow. The monitors, keyboards, and 
mice are not discussed below because all 
but the Visual Technology X Display 
Station's monitor, which had an adjust- 
ment problem, were of excellent quality. 

HDS ViewStation 

The HDS ViewStation came with a 19- 
inch color display, 2 megabytes of mem- 
ory, and a 1280- by 1024-pixel resolu- 
tion. Like most of the other terminals, it 
is a "monitor base" style, a slim case on 
which the monitor can stand. This takes 
up the least desk space and places the 
power switches and indicator lights with- 
in easy reach. 

HDS's configuration program has a 
plain, even primitive, interface; it is 

he HDS 
ViewStation mostiy 
breezed tlirough 
the tests. 

really a text application with mouse sen- 
sitivity. It has its good points, like the in- 
formative header displays showing the 
terminal's Ethernet address, but it has 
some drawbacks, too. The most serious 
problem with the configuration manager 
is its tendency to have immovable pop-up 
windows that obscure important infor- 
mation in underlying windows. It's pos- 
sible to get so deep in pop-up windows 
that you lose track of what you're modi- 
fying. Descriptive window titles would 
avoid confusion. 

When you make a change to the con- 
figuration, a set of prompts appears at 
the bottom of the main window telling 
you what steps you need to take to com- 
mit those changes. "Apply Changes" or 
"Save Settings in NVRAM" (nonvolatile 
RAM) will light up, depending on the 
changes you make, and these instruc- 
tions are a little bit ambiguous. "Apply 
Changes" should really read "Apply 
Changes to Current Session Only. " 

The HDS ViewStation mostly breezed 
through the tests, performing well with 
the mix of Open Look and Motif applica- 
tions. This is partly thanks to the excel- 
lent assortment of fonts and conversion 
utilities provided by the company. HDS's 
was the only tape that included a pro- 
gram to convert fonts from one binary 
type to another. I used this program 
while testing the other terminals to get 
programs such as Looking Glass to 
work; Looking Glass provided its fonts 

only in a binary form compatible with In- 
teractive's X Window System. 

The ViewStation did, however, exhibit 
compatibility problems with IslandWrite 
and X. desktop 2.0. In the first case, 
fonts were jumbled beyond recognition. 
This isn't necessarily the ViewStation's 
fault; IslandWrite uses Sun's scalable 
font mechanism, which may make as- 
sumptions about byte order when font bit 
maps are uploaded to the X server. And 
X. desktop's large, imaginative cursor bit 
maps would only display in part (the 
upper-left part, to be exact). This prob- 
lem has reportedly been fixed; existing 
HDS customers can download a new 
server image from HDS's BBS. 

The configuration manager, along 
with the telnet terminal emulator, 
benefits from being an X application. 
When you connect to your primary host 
and fire up a window manager, the con- 
figuration manager is re-parented: Its 
window takes on the same border and 
window manager characteristics that any 
host-run application would. Thus, the 
configuration manager and terminal em- 
ulator are always an icon click away, even 
after the first X session is started. 

The ViewStation's best attribute is the 
tape of software included with it. I had no 
trouble getting fussy applications like 
Looking Glass to run. The ViewStation 
fared only a little worse than the other 
terminals in performance and compati- 
bility. Large windows could be seen re- 
drawing from top to bottom after being 
moved, and text scrolled visibly more 
slowly than with other terminals. Still, 
performance was well within reasonable 
boundaries, and the minor speed differ- 
ence had little or no impact on the tested 


NCD provided its NCD17c terminal with 
a 17-inch display (1024 by 768 pixels in 
256 colors), 4 MB of memory, and both 
PROM-based and downloadable servers. 

NCD's configuration manager has a 
much better interface than HDS's, but 
neither it nor the telnet terminal emula- 
tion program is an X application. They 
both take over the terminal to the exclu- 
sion of X applications. A display request 
from a host is held up until the configura- 
tion manager and telnet programs are 
exited. The latest version of NCD's 
downloadable server software does offer 
a "local client" implementation of tel- 
net for terminals with sufficient mem- 
ory, but you still have to hang up X Win- 
dow to run the configuration program. 

The optional ROM in the NCD 17c 
contained a default version of the XI 1.4 

240 BYTE" MAY 1991 


server, without the local client support. 
To access the local clients (which include 
serial communications and DEC network 
terminal server access; a Motif-look- 
alike window manager was also provided 
in prerelease form as a local client), you 
need to load a binary image from the op- 
tional tape onto a selected Unix host. 
That host must be equipped with the pro- 
grams bootpd and tf tpd. NCD supplies 
the source code for these programs on 
the tape— a boon, since the chosen server 
was a Sun IPC that lacked these two util- 
ities. Once equipped, the X server exe- 
cutable is loaded into the terminal from 
the network host instead of from ROM. 

Incidentally, all five terminals re- 
quired that at least tftpd be present and 
running on the host. Even if you don't 
use it to download the X server software 
to the terminal, you need it to support 
later font downloads. Most terminals 
also support Network File System con- 
nections for fonts, but tf tp was easier to 
manage and incurred less overhead. 

Compared to the HDS ViewStation, 
the NCD17C was fast. This was partly 
due to the lower resolution, but the dif- 
ference in speed was very noticeable. 
Moved windows snapped instantly into 
their new positions, and scrolling text 
and graphics, such as Looking Glass's 
scrolling icons in the file view window, 
were appreciably faster. Something like 
this won't necessarily make you more 
productive, but it does seem to make the 
environment a little easier to live with. 

Overall, the NCD17c performed well, 
running every application without com- 
plaint and responding quickly to host 

NCR X-Station 

The NCR X-Station was configured with 
a 17-inch, 1024- by 768-pixel, 256-Color 
display. The unit had 6 MB of memory 
and an X Window server in PROM. The 
font tape installed easily, but I was dis- 
pleased that it clobbered the crucial color 
table file during installation. The NCR 
unit had a monitor-base case style, but it 
had a problem: the push-button power 
switch, once pushed, couldn't be popped 
out again. 

The X-Station had, by far, the best set- 
up software. The graphical interface was 
clear and responsive, and it was tuned to 
reducing unnecessary keystrokes and 
mouse movements. For example, once 
configured, the X-Station could connect 
to selected hosts through a simple icon 
click (the icons were named for the 
hosts). The host-resident configuration 
file can specify a different connect com- 
mand for each host. This was the easiest 

connection mechanism offered by any of 
the terminals' software. 

I also liked the X-Station's ability to 
have a large virtual screen. Even though 
its resolution is 1024 by 768 pixels, the 
configuration file lets you fix the termi- 
nal to "pretend" it has a 1024- by 1024- 
pixel screen. The display scrolls rapidly 
when the mouse is advanced off the top 
or bottom of the screen. 

The setup software is done in multiple, 
modeless windows (all windows are ac- 

tive at once; positioning the mouse deter- 
mines which one is "listening"). They 
are true X applications and are always 
available, even during an active session. 
Oddly, the setup windows were reparent- 
able by the Motif window manager, but 
not by Open Look's. The latter was not 
incompatible; it just didn't seem to notice 
the setup windows. 

Running Open Look did bring out a 
rather unusual flaw in NCR's implemen- 
tation. Open Look uses hot dog-shaped 

Circle 1 34 on Inquiry Card (RESELLERS: 1 35). MAY 1991 •BYTE 241 


outlines to highlight menu selections. 
The X-Station drew these shapes pain- 
fully slowly— slowly enough to have a se- 
rious impact on application usage. I ran 
other tests that drew ellipses and circles, 
and the X-Station kept up well. Open 
Look menus turned out to be the only 
performance problem. 

Like the ViewStation, the X-Station 
couldn't run properly with IslandWrite. 
The symptoms were identical— apparent- 
ly, another byte-ordering mismatch. The 

X-Station passed all other application 
tests and turned in a solid performance. 

Tektronix XP29 

Tektronix provided an XP29 terminal 
with a 19-inch display (1280 by 1024 
pixels in 256 colors). The memory was 
strangely split between graphics and I/O 
memory: An extra 4 MB of graphics 
memory was installed, but 3.5 MB was 
used for I/O memory. 

The Tektronix unit was the only one 


HCL-eXceed family 

of X servers for PCs 


I K"L"0)(o«od, for PCs 
with 640K to 1 MB of memory. 

HCL-oXcoed Plus, for PCs 

with 1 .64 MB to 1 eiVlB of memory. 

HCL-eXt;«e(J «5 I4, for PCs with 
8514A based high resolution display 




MS-Windows 3.0 
based X server. 


2900 John Street, Unit 4 

Markham, Ontario, Canada L3R 5G3 

Telephone: (416)470-1203, Fax: (416)470-1207 

that needed to have its case opened. The 
XP29's logic is housed in a small tower 
case. This arrangement takes up unnec- 
essary desk space, and the construction 
of the case feels shabby. The unit didn't 
operate when it arrived— the cards had 
shaken loose. Removing the top of the 
case revealed that the cards were not— 
and can't be— fastened to their connec- 
tors. The case top has a few niches that 
keep the cards straight, but I found the 
boards scattered inside the case when the 
unit arrived. 

The logic unit was not matched to the 
monitor it was sent with. When I reas- 
sembled and booted it, the display spun 
around in a syncless frenzy. It was ex- 
plained to me that I needed to wait until 
some swimming dots appeared that 
"looked something like a prompt" and 
that I then type monset followed by a 
monitor setting number. The manual 
lists three different 1280- by 1024-pixel 
monitor settings. I found the right num- 
ber after a couple of tries, but I came 
away feeling that the whole ordeal was a 
waste of time. 

The XP29 has an attractive and quite 
usable configuration interface. Again, 
the internal setup and telnet programs 
turned out to be X applications. I was 
also impressed with the quality of the 
host tape installation program. After you 
load a short portion of the tape by hand 
(the manual provides the commands for 
several types of workstations), a friendly 
installation script takes over, loading the 
rest of the tape and configuring the 
workstation to support the terminal. Fol- 
lowing installation, I got the XP29 con- 
nected quickly. 

Once over all the initial hurdles, the 
XP29 held its own. I encountered no 
compatibility problems in the application 
tests. I'm not sure how much the extra 
memory helped, but the XP29's perfor- 
mance was superb. The only compatibil- 
ity problem I encountered was with the 
Open Look fonts that Tektronix pro- 
vided. They seem to differ from the style 
of the standard Open Look fonts. I could 
have lived with that, but some common 
fonts were so much larger than their stan- 
dard counterparts that applications grew 
too large for their default windows. 

Visual Technology XDS 

Visual Technology rounded out this 
monitor group with its 21-inch, 1280- by 
1024-pixel, 256-color X Display Station 
(XDS). It came configured with 6 MB of 
memory and a PROM-resident server. 

The XDS's setup software was the 
most primitive of all those that I tested, 
presenting the user with a text-based 

242 BYTE- MAY 1991 

Circle 148 on Inquiry Card (RESELLERS: 149). 

I Good news from the BIX community: 
You can read and talk with Jerry Pournelle 
about the unedited text of his Comput- 
ing At Chaos Manor column— weeks 
before BYTE hits the newsstands— on 
your computer. (Why settle for writing 
letters to him after the fact, when you 
have a shot at influencing his thinking- 
and maybe the content of the column 
itself!) You can also take part in a variety 
of other discussions with Jerry— on such 
subjects as computers, science, space 
exploration and habitation, cognitive 
psychology, natural and man-made disas- 
ters, education, and mathematics. Any 
of which discussions could work its way 
into his next column or book. You can 
even cast your vote with Jerry for the 
best and worst products of the year. 
And download l47programs— free. All 
it takes is a subscription to BIX. Call our 
special Customer Service number for 
more information: 1-800-227-2983 (in 
NH, call 603-924-7681). 



interface that understood mouse-clicks 
but didn't display a cursor to highlight 
the current position. The configuration 
and telnet sessions were like those of 
the NCD17c: X clients were not allowed 
to connect until setup and telnet were 
dismissed. The XDS did have the only 
telnet program to provide emulation of 
an xterm terminal emulator window. 
The telnet window can be suspended 
with Alt-SYSRQ; this resumes the opera- 
tion of the X server. 

The terminal performed well, passing 
all the applications tests, with one glitch: 
When I ran the Open Look window man- 
ager, certain cursor shapes appeared 
scrambled. Under Motif, the Motif cur- 
sor shapes (which appear when resizing 
windows and so on) looked fine, but the 
root window's cursor was scrambled. 

The XDS was the only terminal I re- 
viewed that came with an optical mouse. 
The supplied mouse pad was flexible, 
however, and I didn't have any objection 
to using Visual Technology's pad in- 
stead of one of my own. 

The 21 -inch display was badly in need 
of adjustment, displaying annoying 
ghosts around the edges of black charac- 
ters against a white background. The dis- 
play didn't, seem to have any external ad- 
justments to compensate for this. 

Which Brand X Terminal? 

It's difficult to choose an overall winner 
from this group. With rare exceptions, 
the terminals all did what I asked of 
them. I was a little put off by Island- 
Write's failure on the HDS ViewStation 
and the NCR X-Station, but that is only 
one application. These terminals also ex- 
hibited minor performance problems that 
I didn't see in the others. But at $5199 
(with a 19-inch display and 2 MB of 
memory), the HDS ViewStation turned 
out to be the best value among the 1280- 
by 1024-pixel terminals I tested, and an 
excellent value in general. It has the most 
complete host font/server tape, and it's 
more than $2000 less than the Tektronix 
and Visual Technology units. The View- 
Station had less memory than these other 
terminals, but the difference in cost was 
far more than the price of memory. 

The Visual Technology XDS deliv- 
ered fair value for the money at $7555 for 
6 MB of memory and a 21 -inch monitor. 
The loser in the large-screen, high-reso- 
lution category would have to be the Tek- 
tronix XP29. The quality of construction 
was unimpressive, and the blind monitor 
configuration struck me as something 
that the factory should suffer through, 
not the user. Its $7495 price tag seemed 
high, although it did include expanded 

graphics and user memory. 

For the 1024- by 768-pixel terminals, 
I liked both the NCD NCD17c and the 
NCR X-Station about equally, but I have 
to give the nod to NCR for its aggressive 
pricing, great setup/configuration/tel- 
net software, and 1024- by 1024-pixcl 
logical screen size. The NCD 17c was 
blazingly fast, and at $5050 with 4 MB of 
memory, it's still a good buy. Neverthe- 
less, I judged the NCR X-Station to be 
the better of the two smaller terminals in 
terms of cost and features. At around 
$5000, neither of these terminals should 
have any trouble competing against disk- 
less workstations and PCs. M 

Tom Yager is a BYTE technical editor who 
manages the BYTE Unix Lab. He can be 
reached on BIX as "tyager. " 

Fluniun DcslKHfd Systems, Inc. 


42 1 Fehcley Dr. 

King of Prussia, PA UWOh 

(215) 277 WOO 

fax: (215) 275-57.^4 

Circle 1078 on Inquiry Card. 

NCR Corp. 


3200 Lake Kiuma Rd. 

Lake Mary. FI.3274(> 

(407) .33.V925() 

tax: (407)333-00.50 

Circle 1076 on Inquiry Card. 

Net>\ork ('onipiitin^ Devices, Inc. 

(.NCD 17c) 

350 North Bernardo Ave. 

Mountain View, CA 'M043 


fax: (415)% 1-77 II 

Circle 1079 on Inquiry Card. 

Telitroni.x, Inc. 


P.O. Box I4(i89 
Portland, OR 972 1 4 
(800) 225-5434 
fax: (503)244-1.541 
Circle 1080 on Inquiry Card. 

Visiiul Technology, Inc. 


120 Flanders Rd. 
Wc.slborougli. MA 01581 
(508) 83ft-4400 
fax: (.508) 3(i(v43.37 
Circle 1077 on Inquiry Card. 

244 BYTE • MAY 1991 

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Circle 21 7 on Inquiry Card (RESELLERS: 218). 


SmarV^ UPSes Alert LANs to Power Problems 


' ninterruptible power supplies 
(UPSes) are heavy metallic boxes 
that sit under your desk, hum dis- 
tantly, and remain forgotten unless util- 
ity power goes off suddenly. Right? Not 

A new generation of network-based 
UPSes can continually apprise you of 
such important conditions as battery 
level, current input load, power quality, 
and impending malfunctions. So rather 
than a box that passively sits around wait- 
ing for power problems, your UPS be- 
comes an active device that can help you 
head off potential damage. 

To test that, I selected three UPSes 
that, to varying degrees, provide this 
kind of intelligence: American Power 
Conversion's (APC) Smart-UPS 900 
(900 volt-amperes), Elgar's IPS/A.I. 
800 (800 VA), and Tripp Lite/Unison's 
UniPower PS8.0 (800 VA). I chose 800- 
and 900-VA sizes because they are ap- 
propriate for a network the size of the 
BYTE Lab's. The Minuteman series of 
UPSes from Para Systems also offers in- 
telligent network features. 

Common attributes of these units in- 
clude software that can inform network 
users about a power failure and instruct 
them to log off. Also, the software can 
automatically shut down the network 
server after a designated log-off period. 
Each unit accommodates a variety of net- 
work operating systems. For evaluation, 
I chose the NetWare 386 configuration. 

Smart-UPS 900 

APC's PowerDoctor software lets you 
monitor the Smart-UPS 900 in real time. 
As screen 1 shows, PowerDoctor dis- 
plays bar graphs that indicate the current 
battery voltage, line voltage, and UPS 
load. Other statistics include line fre- 
quency, the internal temperature of the 
UPS, and whether the UPS is supplying 
utility power or running off the internal 

PowerDoctor consists of two modules: 
a foreground monitoring program and a 
background logging program. The back- 
ground logging program runs as a TSR 
program: You can program it to regular- 
ly sample the status of the Smart-UPS 
and record the results in a log file. You 

can easily move log-file results into 
spreadsheet programs, such as Lotus 1- 
2-3 or Microsoft Excel. 

APC's PowerChute software runs on 
the network server and brings Power- 
Doctor's logging and display capabilities 
to the network operating system. It moni- 
tors the status of the Smart-UPS and sig- 
nals workstations of a shutdown. Net- 
work managers select the shutdown time; 
when shutdown time expires, Power- 
Chute gives one last warning to network 
users and "downs" the network. 

The front plate of the Smart-UPS 900 
has plenty of LEDs to provide status in- 
formation. This includes two vertical- 
bar-graph LEDs and a load-indicator bar 
graph that displays the current load as a 
percentage of the UPS's capacity. The 
bar graphs provide a range of data, in- 
cluding battery charge and utility-power 
voltage levels (in steps of 6 volts starting 
at 98 V). Another LED tells you if the 
system is connected to acceptable utility 
power, and an "on battery" light shows 
when the Smart-UPS is running on bat- 
tery power. (With the "replace battery" 
light, the Smart-UPS tells you when its 
battery can no longer hold a charge. Nor- 
mally, this will occur once every two to 
three years, according to the company.) 

When the Smart-UPS detects that util- 
ity voltage has fallen to brownout levels 

of between 90 V and 103 V, it can raise 
incoming power by up to 12 percent with 
SmartBoost, an internal step-up trans- 
former. If the Smart-UPS 900 senses a 
brownout, it first switches to the battery 
and then monitors the line for 4 seconds 
to ensure that voltage levels aren't wors- 
ening. If the line is stable, the UPS en- 
ables the SmartBoost feature and takes 
the battery off-line so extended brown- 
outs don't consume battery power. 

In the unit's back is a nine-pin female 
connector, which is the computer inter- 
face port. In standard mode, the port's 
pins send and respond to simple voltage 
transitions. In "smart mode," the port 
acts as a true RS-232 port (which is how I 
tested it). Adjacent to the serial connec- 
tor is a set of four DIP switches that let 
you set internal parameters. For exam- 
ple, you can move the top of the ac- 
ceptable voltage range higher and desen- 
sitize the system to battery switchover in 
case your line voltage makes frequent ex- 
cursions into the "marginally safe" 
zone, which would ordinarily trigger the 

UniPower PS8.0 

Unlike the other UPS systems in this re- 
view, the UniPower is not meant to sit on 
the floor, hidden under a desk. Its small 
footprint makes it ideal for placement 

MAY 1991 'BYTE 249 



Screen 1 : 

available with the 
Smart-UPS 900, 
displays bar 
graphs that 
indicate the 
current battery 
voltage, line 
voltage, and UPS 

between the CPU case and the monitor. 
This means you won't have to get down 
on your hands and knees to access it. 
Also, the unit's designers recessed a 
light in the front panel, so if power goes 
out, this backup light can illuminate 
your keyboard while you type in a shut- 
down sequence. 

The UniPower also provides a "re- 
mote-on" feature using two RJ-llC tele- 
phone jacks that let you connect the UPS 

to a telephone and a modem. You flip a 
toggle switch to enable the remote-on 
feature. Whenever the UniPower detects 
the ring signal of an incoming phone 
call, it turns on automatically, thus ap- 
plying power to your computer system. 
Your AUTOEXEC.BAT file launches 
any application that you want to run re- 
motely. When you've finished and you 
disconnect, the UniPower waits 2 min- 
utes for your applications software to ter- 

minate and then shuts itself off and waits 
for the next ring. (APC's documentation 
describes a similar remote-on accessory 
for the Smart-UPS 900, but I didn't re- 
ceive this accessory in time for testing.) 

The UniPower's front panel looks ab- 
solutely Spartan compared to the other 
units. An AC status light and audible 
alarm signal power conditions with vari- 
ous colors and flashing lights. The alarm 
sings in pulses of various durations de- 
pending on the problem, so you can tell 
what's happening to your UPS even if 
you can't see the front-panel lights. The 
other front-panel LED indicates battery 
charge levels. 

Tripp Lite/Unison sells Ocean Isle's 
Network Monitor to run with the Uni- 
Power. This software runs as a NetWare 
loadable module (NLM) under Novell's 
NetWare 386 (there is also a value- 
added-process version of Network Moni- 
tor for NetWare 286). It keeps an eye on 
the serial-port signals running from the 
UniPower, and, in case of a power fail- 
ure, it signals workstations of the upcom- 
ing shutdown. After a supervisor-select- 
able delay to allow users to log off, 
Network Monitor sends a last broadcast 


Iris nl¥kM¥.] m tie t;^i 




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250 BYTE • MAY 1991 

Circle 373 on inquiry Card (RESELLERS: 374). 


Spikes. Surges. Overvoltage. 
Undervoltage. Brownouts. 
These things happen. And they 
can do irreparable damage to 
your equipment and data. 
Unless you're protected with 
Minuteman Uninterruptible 
Power Supplies. 

Minuteman protects all your 
equipment and data. All the 
time. In fact, in 
the event ' , ^ 
of power "I . 
failure, it will safely and 
automatically shut down your 
network, using your operating 
system or our own software. 
Even if you're not there. 

There's a Minuteman to fit 
your needs, large or small. 
Including 220-volt international 
models. And we ship orders 
the same day they're received. 

So call us. You can't stop 
disaster from striking. But you 
can keep it from hurting you. 


300 VA to 2300 VA 

Sinewave output: 1 
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500 VA to 10,000 VA 

Static by-pass standard 

True on-line sinewave 



Via your operating 
system or our software, 

Novell 286 VAP and 
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ELS Level II 

AIX for IBM RS6000 
Version 3.1 & up 

Version 2.2.1 & up 


LAN Manager 
Banyan Vines 

AT&T 3B2 

AT&T UNIX 386 
Version 3.2 

Version 3.2 & up 

Version 2.3.2 & up 

Version 2.2.1 & up 

Sun OS Sun 4 Version vj' 
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Custom configuration 
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International Models: 220v 240v 
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© Para Sy.stems, Inc. 1455 LeMay Drive, Carrollton, Texa.s 75007 Phone:214-446-7363 FAX: 214-446-901 1 

Circle 238 on Inquiry Card. 





Combined with "smart" 
software, they inform network 
users about a power failure, 
broadcast log-off messages, and 
automatically shut down the 
network server. By continually 
monitoring battery levels and 
power quality, they can help you 
head off potential damage 
caused by faulty power conditions. 

Our highest marks go to the 
Smart-UPS 900 because of its long 
holdup time, its power-monitoring 
software, and the SmartBoost 
feature, which helps the UPS 
survive extended brownouts. 


Smart-UPS 900: $999; 
PowerChute software (available 
for Novell's NetWare 286 and 
386, IBM LAN Server, SCO Xenix 
286 and 386, SCO Unix System 
V/386, AT&T Unix, Interactive 
Unix, LAN Manager, 3 + Open, 
and AppleShare); $99; 
PowerDoctor software; $99 
IPS/A.I. 800: $899; LanSafe A.I. 
386+ software for Novell 
NetWare 386 (as tested) ; $ 1 35; 
LanSafe A.I. 286-I- for NetWare 
286; $99 

UniPowerPSS.O: %999; 
NetWork Monitor for Novell 
NetWare 286 and 386; $99.95 

Screen 2: LanSafe 
A.I.+ control 
software for 
Elgar's IPS/A.I. 

values for 
incoming voltage 
and line 
outgoing power 
and equivalent 
battery level, and 
other parameters. 

message of impending shutdown. About 
a minute later, it downs tiie server. 

IPS/A.I. 800 

Elgar's IPS/A.I. 800 uses LanSafe A.I. 
control software to view the status of the 
UPS and provide a software control panel 
to adjust internal parameters and run 
system tests. With the optional software, 
the unit continuously updates status dis- 
play (see screen 2) to show instantaneous 
values for incoming voltage and line fre- 
quency, outgoing power and equivalent 
volt-amperes, battery level, and other pa- 
rameters. If you have a significant num- 
ber of power problems that you'd like 
documented, you can program the soft- 
ware (a portion of which runs as a TSR) 
to periodically write line-status informa- 
tion to a log file. Since part of the soft- 
ware runs as a TSR, even when you're in 
another application a pop-up window can 
alert you to a problem. 

LanSafe A.I. + is a network version of 
the IPS/A.I. 's control software. I tested 
it under NetWare 386. To run LanSafe, 
you create a user named LanSafe with 
supervisor and console rights. You then 
install an NLM that's loaded when the 
server boots up. Once it's installed, the 
NLM acts like a user and will respond to 
English-language messages. The lexicon 
is limited but more than sufficient for 
this purpose. For example, if you enter 

Send "What is the power status" to 

you'll get a quick response of 

"Commercial power and batteries are 

Under normal circumstances, this 
command interface is active for only 10 

minutes after the network boots up. 
After that, you have to send a "Set User 
Command Interface On" message to 
LanSafe. When you're done talking to 
this artificial user, you send a "Set User 
Command Interface Off" message. This 
keeps LanSafe from responding sporadi- 
cally to broadcast messages. 

Other network workstations with an 
attached IPS/A.I. UPS and running Lan- 
Safe become "power nodes." That is, 
you can execute LanSafe's console pro- 
gram and view the status screen of an- 
other user's UPS. (The screen is identi- 
cal to the single-user version of IPS/A.I.